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2. Form nouns from the following words dusty, 

sunny, noisy, shady, 

3- Quote from mpory the second and the last stanzas. 

Trying to Please Everybody 

dismounted laughter donkey trudging 

comfortably remarked disgust beside 

direction common opposite roared 

Once a washerman wanted to sell his 
ass. One morning he and his son set out 
for the market. The father rode upon the 
ass, while,the youth walked beside hinj. 
By and by a woman saw them and said, 
“A fine father indeed ! You are ridiilg, 
while your poor son is walking! You 
ought to walk yourself and left j^our son 

At this the father got down and asked 
h# son to get upon the donkey. 


They had not gone far when a friend 
of the washerman was passing by. He 
remarked, “A nice son ! You are riding 
comfortably on the donkey while your 
old father is trudging along ! You ought to 
be ashamed of yourself,” Hearing this, 
the youth dismounted. 

“Let us both walk,” said the father. 
So they began to walk. 

After some time they passed two men 
going in the opposite direction. One of 
them said to the other, “These fellows 
have little common sense. They are 
walking when they have got a beast 
strong#nough to carry both of them !” 

At this both the father and the son 
mounted the donkey. They were getting 
along comfortably, when some travellers 


VOL. I. 



Reader in History , University of Dacca, 

®u thor of “Sher Shah” and the “History of the fats.’* 


|k. R. C. MAJUMDAR, M.A., P.R.S., Pb.D., 

Bad of the Department of History, University of Dacca~ 




Publisher ; 

S. C. Sarkar 

. 0 / M. C. Sarkar & Sons, Ld., 
15, College Sq., Calcutta. 

All Rights reserved by the Author . 

Price Rs. 5 or Is. 6 d. 

Printer : P. C. Ray, 

SRI gouranga press, 
71/1, Mirzapur St., Calcutta. 


A. F. RAHMAN, Esq., B.A. (CW), 




Prince Dara Shukoh, the eldest son and heir- 
Apparent of the Emperor Shah Jahan, is a unique 
figure in the Mughal imperial family. He is chiefly 
remembered for his tragic end, but few people 
realise that the tragedy lay not so much in his death 
as in his life. The Mughal princes who followed 
Akbar belonged to a set type. Valiant, debauched 
and luxurious, they excelled in fighting and drink¬ 
ing, and very often in both. The imperial throne 
was their only objective and pomp and power their 
sole aim in life. They divided their time between 
camp and harem, and wine and women formed their 
chief diversions from the exertions of warfare. 
They cared very little for knowledge and still less 
for any higher intellectual pursuits. They moved 
in a narrow groove and lacked all liberal ideas or 
noble statesmanship. The pleasures of the flesh 
alone made any appeal to their animal instincts and 
they never bothered about any higher spiritual life 
of which man is capable. 

Into this w'orld was born a mystic philosopher, 
a devotee of knowledge and seeker after spiritual 
truths. Save his accident of birth he hail no other 
qualifications for the exalted Peacock-throne with 
which a cruel mocking fate ever tantalised him. 


Had Dara Shukoh been born in an ordinary house¬ 
hold, he might have lived and died a pious saint, 
nay, might have even made his mark as one of those 
spiritual guides of Medieval India who preached the 
universal religion of love and human fellowship. 
An exalted soul, a noble heart, a liberal mind, a 
freshness of outlook, a lofty idealism, and an in¬ 
exhaustible thirst for knowledge—these were the 
uncommon gifts with which nature endowed him. 
They would have elevated him to almost any height, 
save the one to which a cruel tempting fate ever 
allured him as his natural destiny. Herein lies the 
greatest tragedy of Dara’s life. He had aptitude for 
a higher spiritual life, but he had to spend his days 
amid the sordid materialism of the Mughal palace. 
His special qualities of head and heart were meant 
for the ennobling of mankind, but he was called 
upon to use them for gaining a royal throne. It 
is the old familiar tale of a square peg in a round 
hole. He had the ladder for heaven, but used it for 
the Peacock throne. 

Few historical figures present such a grim 
tragedy. The very noble qualities of Dara proved 
his ruin. Had his pursuits been less intellectual 
and aims less spiritual, he might have been more 
successful in his enterprise. Had he studied less of 
philosophy and more of military science, had he 
devoted to administration and warfare the time he 
spent in translating the Upanishads and writing 


Majuma-ul-Baharain , had nature instilled in him 
more of worldly cunning and less of mystic 
spiritualism, he might have perhaps proved victori¬ 
ous in the struggle for succession. But so long as 
man does not radically alter his estimate of moral 
values few will regret the choice that nature made 
in the equipment of Dara Shukoh. 

The life of such a man is an eminently fit 
subject for study both by the philosopher and by 
the historian. While the tragic end of Dara has 
always made a profound appeal to many, few people 
have shown any real appreciation of his greatness 
and sterling merit. To Dr. Qanungo belongs the 
credit of making a serious effort not only to unravel 
the real man before our eyes, but also to explain 
the significance of his life and mission. His great 
mission in life, as the following pages will prove, 
was the promotion of peace and concord between 
the followers of Hinduism and Islam. “It is hardly 
an exaggeration to say”, remarks Dr. Qanungo, 
“that any one who intends to take up the solution 
of religious peace in India must begin the work 
where Dara Shukoh had left it and proceed on the 
path chalked out by that prince.” Unfortunately 
that path was not followed by any other Mughal 
prince. The truth is that Dara typified a spirit 
which vanished with him. As the author of the 
following pages has very truly observed, the defeat 
of Dara “saw the definite close of the most brilliant 


epoch of the medieval history of India which is 
aptly called the Age of Akbar—the age of nationalism 
in politics and culture, the era of Revival of Letters 
and Fine Art.” 

Dara dreamt of a new enlightened age for India 
of which the foundation was laid by Akbar, and 
his failure was a national loss. His dreams, it is 
true, came to nothing. But even such dreams have 
their value, and if we properly adjust the moral 
values, the dreamer may not suffer in comparison 
with his more realistic and successful rival whose 
long and apparently triumphant career shattered the 
.great fabric of the Mughal empire. Judged by 
ordinary standards Aurangzib was a great success, 
and Dara a hopeless failure ; but to those whose 
visions transcend the ordinary limitations imposed 
by worldly conventions, and catch a glimpse of 
ultimate reality, the position may be exactly the 
reverse. To them the following pages would make 
an absorbing appeal, and the very lucid and 
sympathetic delineation of Dara’s character by the 
gifted author would be a study of abiding interest 
to all. 

R. C. Majumdar. 

Ramna, Dacca, 

27th December, IQ34 . 


I owe an apology as well as an explanation to 
my readers who have been expecting the second 
volume of my History of the Jats, and not a 
biography of Prince Dara Shukoh. After the publi¬ 
cation of the first volume of the History of the Jetts, 
Sir Jadunath Sarkar suggested to me the idea of a 
monograph on Dara, for which he had discovered 
some new materials in the Jaipur Darbar archives. 
This biography of Dara was originally intended to 
form a modest volume of 200 pages to be written 
in twelve months. Accordingly I took up the study 
of the tragic career of the Philosopher-Prince as 
a diversion from the tale of war and woe of 
eighteenth century India. But as I proceeded study¬ 
ing things in and around the subject, what was 
honestly meant to be a diversion became almost a 
passion, and the result has run to about 800 pages 
in two volumes of which the first is now offered to 
the public. 

In my study of Dara Shukoh I took my clue 
from the great historian William Irvine, who wrote 
to Sir Jadunath in August, 1905 : “I suppose man 
has still enough of the brute in him to have remained 
a fighting animal, and the drum and trumpet school 
of history seems as popular as ever.The 


losing side ( e.g ., Dara Shukoh’s) always gets scanty 
justice in histories.” The publication of a very 
learned article, Les Entretiens de Lahore by Huart 
and Massignon in the Journal Asiatique (Oct.-Dec., 
1926) came as a great stimulus, and gave a new turn 
to my study. I found therein an echo of my senti¬ 
ment that some writers have wrongly inferred “the 
social barrenness of Dara’s work from his political 

It also suggested to me a fresh line of research 
in the history of the evolution of Indian religious 
thought, of which the life and writings of Dara 
Shukoh form an important chapter. With these 
French savants I feel that at this moment when the 
unity of India depends on a new attempt at the 
mutual comprehension of the two spiritual elements 
(Hinduism and Islam), attention can legitimately be 
paid to the figure of Dara Shukoh, who attempted 
in the seventeenth century what Kabir and Akbar 
had done before him in the fifteenth and the sixteenth 
respectively, or what Rajah Ram Mohan Roy did 
in the nineteenth. 

Dara and Aurangzib represent the two sides of 
vShah Jahan’s character, as well as the two phases 
of his glorious reign. Dara is the central figure of 
a great religious and literary movement for the 
adaptation of Islam to the spiritual traditions of 
India. His spiritual search took him to the field of 
theosophical research. He attempted to bridge the 


gulf between Hinduism and Islam not for the com¬ 
monalty of the two creeds but only for the “elect” 
of the two communities. He started with the pro¬ 
position that there must be a common source of all 
revealed Scriptures, as the Quran refers to a Umm- 
ul-kitab. Dara set himself to the task of discovering 
this lost Book with the zeal and confidence of Sir 
Galahad in search of the Holy Grail, and having 
crossed the bourne of Islam, he lighted upon the 
Upanishads as that very Book hidden from profane 

As regards the study of the political career of 
Dara Shukoh, I worked on the same materials and 
traversed the same ground as Sir Jadunath had done 
in his History of Aurangzib, vols. i and ii, with the 
idea of arriving at reasoned conclusions indepen¬ 
dently. The result has been very disappointing 
and sadly disproportionate to the time spent on it. 
Sometimes the strenuous labour of several months 
on the voluminous records on the War of Succession 
has been altogether fruitless of any new discovery, as 
the learned historian of Aurangzib has not left for 
his successors a single important fact or dramatic 
touch unappropriated by himself, except some dry 
strings of insignificant proper names or irritating de¬ 
tails, which I too have passed over without notice. I 
had an advantage over Sir Jadunath on one point, 
namely, the Jaipur letters , particularly those on Su- 
laiman’s campaign against Shuja. Though some of 


these letters were noticed by him in the second edition 
of the first two volumes of his History of Aurangzib, 
he left them to me for a fuller use in writing that 
particular chapter of the War of Succession in a 
new light. I have been able to treat in detail Dara 
Shukoh’s siege of Qandahar by utilising an anonym¬ 
ous contemporary account of that siege (Lataif-td- 
akhbar) by an eye-witness. The Qandahar campaign 
was a crucial test of Dara’s character and ability, 
and marked a crisis in his career ; hence, the justifi¬ 
cation of my treatment of it in a separate chapter, 
perhaps the longest in the book. Where original 
records threw no new light on the War of Succession, 
I had to content myself with brief summaries from 
Sarkar s History of Aurangzib. As truth and reason 
must overrule sentiment, however strong and dear, 
I had to accept in general the views of Sir Jadunath 
on the career and character of Dara as a soldier and 
a politician. In doing so, I am not without mis¬ 
givings that my readers wall perhaps hold that the 
pupil of the historian of Aurangzib has murdered 
poor Dara Shukoh a second time. 

In this volume of Dara Shukoh , the reader will 
come across references to a vol. II, which is not yet 
before him. That volume, containing the literary 
and political correspondence of Dara Shukoh and 
some extracts from his Sirr-ul-Asrar, is also in the 
press. The present volume has been made complete 
in itself for the use of students and the general 


public by the inclusion of some chapters which were 
originally planned to form part of vol. II. 

My indebtedness to Sir Jadunath is only too 
obvious. Without the support and encouragement 
of Dr. R. C. Mazumdar, the Head of the Department 
of History at the Dacca University where I serve, 
it would hardly have been possible for me to bring 
this work to a conclusion. My sincere thanks are 
due to Mr. Fida Ali Khan, M.A., Head of the 
Department of Persian and Dean of the Faculty of 
Arts, Dacca University, and to Hakim Habib-ur- 
Rahman Sahib of Dacca for placing their private 
collections of Mss. at my disposal for use, and also 
permitting me to publish some important letters of 
Dara in their possession. My friend Dr, Jogindranath 
Chaudhuri, M.A., Ph.D., has kindly helped me in 
reading the proofs of this volume, for which I offer 
him my warmest thanks. 

January, 1935. 

K. R. Q. 


Chapter I 

Boyhood and education ... ... i 

Chapter II 

Marriage and family life ... ... 12 

Chapter III 

Rank and offices held by Dara Shukoh. 

His early commands ... ... 20 

Chapter IV 

The third siege of Qandahar ... ... 45 

Chapter V 

Spiritual life of Dara Shukoh ... ... 98 

Chapter VI 

Literary achievements of Dara Shukoh ... 134 
Chapter VII 

The Interlude (1654-1657 A.D.) ... 162 

Chapter VIII 

The Causes of the War of Succession ... 198 
Chapter IX 

The struggle for the throne ... ... 223 

Chapter X 

The vicissitudes of fortune ... ... 260 

Chapter XI 

The closing act of the tragedy ... 294 


Chapter XII 

Aurangzib and the family of Dara Shukoh ... 322 

Chapter XIII 

Dara and a Hindu ascetic ... ...33? 

Chapter XIV 

Dara Shukoh and the contemporary Muslim 

saints ... ... ... 348 

Chapter XV 

Character of Dara Shukoh ... ... 372 

Bibliography ... ... ... 404 

Index ... ... ... ... 421 

dara's children 


Emperor accompanied by great nobles 
went to see the child, and took his meal 
in Dara’s house. She died a few months 
afterwards, on the day of Id-ul-fitr (21st 
March 1634). Dara who was then travel¬ 
ling with the Court to Lahor got high fever 
and heart-trouble owing to grief and 
mental depression. The Emperor was so 
alarmed that he sent for Hakim Wazir 
Khan from Lahor, and in grave concern 
ordered Dara’s tent to be pitched close to 
his own, so that Jahanara Begam might 
tend him. Shah Jahan went to see him 
several times, and distributed large sums 
to the faqirs and the destitute. (Pad. I. B. 
3, 9, 10). 

2. Sulaiman Shukoh, born on Friday morning, 

27th Ramzan, 1044 (March 6, 1635), at the 
village of Sultanpur, during a journey with 
the Court from Delhi to Agra. The cele¬ 
bration of the birth-ceremony took place at 
the latter city. The Emperor with all the 
nobles down to the grade of Hazari was 
magnificently entertained at Dara’s mansion. 

(Pad. I. B. 73-74, 84-85). 

3. Mihir Shukoh, born on Wednesday, 2nd 

Rabi-ul-awwal, 1048 (July 4, 1638) ; died on 
the 9th of the next month. (Pad. ii. 101, 




[CH. II. 

4. Pak-nihad Banu Begam, born on 29th Jamadi- 

ul-awwal 1051, August 26, 1641. (Pad. ii, 

5. Mumtaz Shukoh, 1 born on the last day of 

Jamadi-ul-awwal 1053 == 6th August, 1643 
(Pad. ii. 337), died possibly in the month 
of Zilqada, 1058. 

6. Sipihr Shukoh, bom on Thursday, 11th Shaban, 

1054=October 3, 1644. (Pad. ii. 388). 

Shah Jahan visited Dara’s house after the 
birth of every grand-child of his and gave, 
on each occasion, two lakhs of Rupees in 
cash for the birthday celebration. 

7. Jahanzeb Banu. 

8. Amal-un-nisa. 

It is rather strange that the Court-histories of 
Shah Jahan do not mention the birth of any child 
to Dara from 1645 to his death (1658). Two 
daughters of Dara seem to have survived their 
father. In the Kalimat-i-Aurangzib, a daughter of 
Dara, Amal-un-nisa Begam, is twice mentioned as 
an object of Aurangzib’s special care. She received 
certain ornaments as presents from that Emperor 
(Sarkar MS., 92, 101). Manucci mentions a little 
daughter of Dara, called by her pet name Jani 

1 Waris mentions the death of a child of Dara at the age 
of four years and 9 months in the month of Zilqada, 1058. 
This child, whose name is not mentioned, cannot be Pak- 
nihad Banu, who was at this date, 6 years and 9 months old. 
So evidently Mumtaz is meant. 



Begam, [official name Jahanzeb Banu], who was 
Brought up by Jahanara and married to Muhammad 
Azam, son of Aurangzib [in 1668.] This daughter 
of Dara cannot be the same as Pak-nihad Banu who 
was 12 years older than Muhammad Azam. 
Amal-un-nisa and Jani Begam were not apparently 
the same person. These were certainly bom after 
Sipihr Shukoh. 




Section I.—Rank in the Mughal Peerage 

According to the convention of the 
Mughal Court none could have any locus 
standi in the State except as a member of 
the official nobility. The Mughal Peerage 
included the “noblesse of the sword” as 
well as “the noblesse of the robe”; the 
soldier and the physician, the poet and 
the painter, the theologian and the 
eunuch were equally entitled to this 
honour in the guise of Army Officers 

Prince Dara received his first mansab, 
12000 zat and 6000 sawar, on the occasion 
of the Emperor’s lunar birthday, Satur¬ 
day 5th October, 1633 (11th Rabi-us-sani, 
1043 H.; Pad. I. A. 541). On this day the 
sarkar of Hissar (in the Pan jab), which 
was the Dauphiny of the House of Babar, 

dara's successive promotions 21 

—was assigned as the fief of the Prince. 
The choice was not accidental, but made 
deliberately to proclaim the eldest Prince 
as the Heir Designate to the Throne. 

The promotion of Dara was rapid and 
high, beating all previous records of the 
family. Several lifts raised his rank in 
five years to 20,000 zat and 10,000 sawar. 
After this his zat stood fixed for about ten 
years; nevertheless, promotion continued 
in the form of increments to his sawar 
contingent, and conversion to do-aspah, 
seh-aspah. Dara got a lift of 10,000 zat 
in April 1648, and eight years after 
another 10,000 zat in January 1656. By 
this time Dara’s command was bigger 
than those of Shuja and Aurangzib com¬ 
bined. Though younger, the energetic 
and brave Aurangzib had overtaken the 
indolent Shuja; but the policy and affec¬ 
tion of Shah Jahan raised Dara beyond 
the sphere of competition. Just before 
his fateful illness the Emperor raised 
Dara’s rank to 50,000 zat, and after his 
partial recovery, when the War of Succes- 



[Ch. III. 

sion loomed larger in the horizon, he 
bestowed on Dara “in recognition of his 
filial piety and tender nursing during the 
illness”, an extraordinary rank of 60,000 
zat and 40,000 sawar, of which 30,000 was 
do-aspah, seh-aspah. 

Section 2.—Viceroyalties of Dara 
X. Allahabad: 

Dara was appointed subahdar of the 
province of Allahabad, vice Shaista Khan, 
with the additional charge of two imperial 
forts, Chunar and Rohtas, on the 15th 
June, 1645. As the Prince was at this 
time travelling with the Court in 
Kashmir, Baqi Beg, the chief eunuch of 
the harem of Dara, was nominated his 
deputy to these territories (Pad. ii. 444). 
Baqi Beg and other deputies successfully 
administered this province on behalf of 
the absentee Viceroy for twelve years. 
Dara visited it only once (1656-1657), and 
completed at Benares his monumental 
work Sirr-ul-asrar (also known as Sirr-i- 
akbar), a translation of 50 Upanishads, on 
1st July, 1657. Allahabad had no poli- 



tical and economic interest for the Prince, 
who prized it only as the abode of Hindu 
learning, and of a Sufi mystic, Shaikh 
Muhibb-ullah Allahabadi. 

2. The Panjab: 

About two years after (March 1647) 
the subah of the Pan jab was added to the 
viceroyalty of Dara. As it became at this 
time the base of supplies to the imperial 
army fighting in Balkh under Aurangzib, 
Dara had to reside at the head-quarters of 
his new province for about a year. This 
province continued in the uninterrupted 
possession of Dara till he was chased out 
of it by the army of Aurangzib. Though 
generally left to the management of his 
deputies, Lahor received the greatest 
attention of the Prince and nowhere was 
his rule better appreciated. He gained 
great popularity through the interest he 
took in the welfare of the city, which he 
improved by the construction of numer¬ 
ous chauks or market-places. His name 
is still held in affectionate remembrance 
at Lahor; and the costly Badshahi mosque 
erected at Lahor by Aurangzib has ever 



[Ch. III. 

been held in disrepute because it was 
built from the “spoils of blood... 

Lahor had a peculiar sanctity for 
Dara as the famous saint, Mian Meer 
had lived and died here. He became 
acquainted with the saint in 1634 A.D. 
During his viceroyalty Dara built a 
beautiful mausoleum over the tomb of the 
saint, which afterwards sheltered the last 
remains of his beloved consort Nadira 
Banu Begam. 

3. Gujrat: 

This subah was granted to Dara in 
1649, who transferred Baqi Beg 1 2 (now 
created Bahadur Khan) from Allahabad 
to Gujrat in order to settle the affairs of 
the new province. Dara never visited 

1 This mosque was turned into a magazine by the Sikhs 
and only restored by the English to the Musalmans, who 
however shunned it as an Akeldama. (Lahor Gaz. 1883, p. 24 
and 176.) The mausoleum of Mian Meer lies near the Lahor 
East (Cantonment) Station; it is a building of white marble 
and Agra sandstone with a mosque in the courtyard (ibid., 
p f 166.) Manucci mentions the building of this mausoleum 
by Dara. 

2 Bahadur Khan (Baqi Beg), biographical sketch in Maa*ir~ 
itLumara, i. 444*447. 



Gujrat and was relieved of its charge in 
July 1652. 

4 & 5. Multan and Kabul: 

In July 1652 A.D. a redistribution of 
provinces became necessary when Dara 
assumed the command of the Qandahar 
expedition* after Aurangzib had twice 
failed to recapture that fort from the 
Persians. Dara was relieved of the charge 
of Gujrat (17th Shaban, 1062 = 14th July 
1652), being given in exchange Multan 
and Kabul ; Aurangzib, who had to resign 
Multan to Dara, got the four subahs of 
the Deccan. 1 The subah of Bihar, which 
was coveted by Prince Shuja, viceroy of 
Bengal and Orissa for a long time, was 
granted to Dara on 20th December 1657, 
when the civil war had well-nigh broken 
out. Dara played the absentee Viceroy 
both in Multan and Kabul. After his 
retreat from Qandahar in 1653 A.D., 

1 Redistribution of the provinces on 17th Shaban* 1062= 
July 14, 1652. (Waris, 66a). Gujrat was given to Shaista 
Khan, who was replaced by Murad Bakhsh in that subah 
in March* 1654 (Wans, 85a.) 



[CH. 111. 

Sulaiman Shukoh accompanied him to 
Delhi, leaving Kabul in charge of Bahadur 
Khan (Baqi Beg). In Multan Muhammad 
Ali Khan was replaced a year afterwards 
by Sayyid Izzat Khan. In January 1657 
Rustam Khan Bahadur Firuz Jang was 
appointed to Kabul, vice Bahadur Khan 
(Baqi Beg) 1 who was transferred to 
Lahor. When the civil war broke out, 
Baqi Beg was sent as the guardian of 
young Sulaiman Shukoh during his cam¬ 
paign against Shuja; his place in Lahor 
was filled by Sayyid Izzat Khan (Abdur 
Razzaq Gilani). 2 

Section 3.—Services and emoluments of 
Dara Shukoh 

The career of Dara as a soldier and 
administrator was extremely uneventful. 
During his official career he commanded 
three military expeditions against the 
Persians, and of these two were almost 
holiday parades without any enemy to 
encounter, but in the third Fortune 

1 Warift MS. 66b; Khali Khan, ii. 713. 

% A biographical notice of Sayyid Izzat Khan (M<ra*tr-a/- 
nmara, ii. 475.) 

dara’s vast income 


deserted him sadly. He was only an 
absentee Viceroy of several provinces, 
which were ruled in his name by subor¬ 
dinates nominated by the Emperor. The 
Crown Prince was reared up like a green¬ 
house plant carefully shielded from 
dangers and disappointments, and watered 
by the perennial spring of Shah Jahan’s 

Though his services were meagre, his 
emoluments were rich. His military rank 
alone entitled him to a salary of two 
crores and seventy-five thousand Rupees 
a year. Besides his own extensive fiefs 
in Kashmir, Kangra and the Pan jab, he 
was granted all the jagirs of the great 
minister Sadullah Khan (April 1656). He 
also held two rich sinecures, viz., the 
Faujdarship of Kaul (Aligarh) and the 
Rahdari (guardianship) of the region 
between Delhi and Agra with a total in¬ 
come of 22£ lakhs of Rupees. Shah Jahan 
placed at the disposal of Dara splendid 
resources, military and financial, without 
giving him any opportunities for develop¬ 
ing the practical ability to utilize them. 



[Ch. Ill. 

Sec. 4.—First expedition against the Persians 

Since 1522 A.D. the province of 
Qandahar had been a debatable ground 
between the Timurides and the Safavis 
for 125 years, during which it changed 
hands several times. It came twice as a 
windfall to the Mughal Emperors, but 
slipped as often through their voluptuous 
grasp. Shah Tahmasp conquered it 
during the minority of Akbar, but 
Muzaffar Husain Mirza betrayed it into 
the hands of that Emperor in 1596 and 
entered Mughal service. Shah Abbas I 
wrested it from Jahangir in 1623, but 
fifteen years later Ali Mardan Khan, the 
Persian governor of Qandahar, made it 
over to the Mughals and fled to the Court 
of Shah Jahan from .the wrath of his 
tyrannical master (February, 1638). 

Shah Jahan made vigorous efforts to 
consolidate this gain of chance, and con¬ 
quered Bust and Zamin Dawar, the two 
dependencies of Qandahar. He spent 
eight lakhs of Rupees in strengthening the 
fortifications of these forts, and constituted 



a new province, the subah of Qandahar, 
which also included the tribal territories 
to the west of Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera 
Ismail Khan—yielding a revenue of fifteen 
lakhs of Rupees (six crores of Dams). 

Mortified at the loss of Qandahar, 
Shah Safi, as Abdul Hamid tauntingly 
remarks, “could neither enjoy rest by day 
nor have any sleep at night (roz be-tab u 
shab be-khwab).” But in truth his own 
sovereign, distressed by the constant fear 
of losing the insecure gain of chance, fared 
hardly better. The characteristic feature 
of the Indian foreign policy during the 
16th and 17th centuries had been the 
diplomatic isolation of heretical Persia by 
a coalition of the Sunni rulers of 
Hindustan, Turkey, and Transoxiana. 
Shah Jahan maintained a close alliance 
with Sultan Murad the Fourth of Turkey, 
who had also designs upon the Persian 
Iraq. He humoured Nazar Muhammad 
Khan of Balkh and the Uzbeg chiefs with 
occasional exchange of friendly messages 
and gifts; the latter were, however, dis¬ 
trustful at heart because the Timurides 



[CH. III. 

never altogether gave up their pretensions 
to Balkh, Badakhshan and Samarqand. 
In spite of these warlike and diplomatic 
measures, the Persian nightmare did not 
cease to haunt the dreams of Shah Jahan. 

In the beginning of the year 1639, the 
Persians were reported meditating an 
attack on Qandahar. The Crown Prince, 
who had not hitherto seen any active 
service, was eager to win his spurs in a 
campaign against the Persians. Accord¬ 
ingly he was given leave at Lahor with 
great solemnity on February 8th, 1639 
(14th Shawwal, 1048 H). 1 

The apprehension of Persian hostility 
seemed to have died down about this time, 
as the slow and leisurely march of the 
Indian army to Kabul—which was 
reached only on 18th May—indicates. 
After a fortnight’s rest at that city, Dara 

1 First expedition :-—Dara starts for Qandahar, Pad. ii. 140; 
the Mughal army reaches Kabul, 25th Muharram, 1049 H., 
ibid., p. 147; Dara goes to Ghazni, 17th Safer, 1049 H., ibid., 
150; returns to Kabul, 16th Rabi-uLawwal, 1049, ibid. 151; 
homeware} march, 15th August 1639 (25th Rabi~uS'Sani; ibid . 
156); meets the Emperor at Lahor, October 9, 1639 (21st 
jamadi'us-sani, 1049, ibid. 163.) 



was ordered to Ghazni with his contin¬ 
gent and Qilich Khan to Qandahar for 
watching the movements of the Persians. 
In truth, Shah Safi was at this time in the 
grip of a serious struggle with Sultan 
Murad IV of Constantinople, who had 
invaded the Persian Iraq and captured 
Baghdad. The Mughal Prince was re¬ 
called to Kabul in the first week of July, 

Section 5.—Second expedition of Dara towards 

The Persian menace became a reality 
when Sultan Murad IV died and the Turks 
were rapidly expelled from their recent 
conquests in Iraq and Armenia (1640- 
1641). Relieved of the fear of the Turks 
and flushed with his recent victories in 
the west, the Persian King diverted the 
whole warlike resources of his kingdom 
towards Qandahar. He sent in advance 
his Commander-in-Chief Rustam Khan 
Gurji with a powerful army, having in¬ 
structed him to halt at Nishapur, the 
capital of Khurasan, till his own arrival. 



[Ch. III. 

This news caused a great stir in the 
Mughal Court at Lahor. Distinguished 
officers were hastily recalled from pro¬ 
vincial governments, and the Rajput chiefs 
hurried to the Pan jab at the head of their 
contingents. The supreme command of 
the army was given to Prince Dara (10th 
April, 1642), and Said Khan Jahan, 
Rustam Khan Bahadur, Rajah Jai Singh, 
Rajah Jaswant Singh and other veterans 
were placed on his staff. 

Said Khan Bahadur, subahdar of 
Multan, and several officers of the Kabul 
army were ordered to reinforce Dara. The 
Crown Prince again led a magnificent 
army across the Indus, but the Persian 
King never reached Nishapur, having 
ended his life’s journey at Kashan in 
May 1642. 

This was rather a cruel disappoint¬ 
ment to Dara, who was reluctant to turn 
back without encountering the enemy. 
He proposed to force a war on the Persians 
by attacking Sistan, Farah and Herat and 
thus relieve Qandahar of the constant 
Persian menace. Shah Jahan with greater 


Section I.— Birth and Boyhood 

The city of Ajmir assumed an 
unusually brilliant and gay appearance 
during the spring of the year 1615. The 
spiritual quiet of the place was broken by 
the din and bustle of a jubilant Court. 
The occasion was the successful close of 
the Mewar campaign and the return of 
the victorious Prince Khurram with the 
grandson of Rana Pratap in his train. 
About a month after, Mumtaz Mahal gave 
birth to her third child and first son, at 
Ajmir in the night of Monday, 20th 
March 1615 (29th Safar, 1024 A.H.). The 
Emperor Jahangir gave to this heir to his 
favourite son the name of Muhammad 
Dara Shukoh, in whom not a few recog- 



[CH. I. 

nized the Heir-Presumptive to the 
Throne. 1 The fortunate new-comer was 
hailed as “the Prime Rose of the Empire” 
(i Gul-i-awwalin-i-gulistan-i-Shahi — which 
gives the year of his birth). Roses enough 
and in rapid succession indeed blessed the 
wedlock of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz. Of 
their fourteen children, two daughters and 
four sons were destined to play their parts 
in one of the saddest tragedies of History. 

When Dara was about two years old, 
his father was appointed Viceroy of the 
Deccan. There too Khurram’s arms and 
diplomacy achieved conspicuous success. 
But the jealousy and plots of the fair 
Empress Nur Jahan drove him into rebel¬ 
lion in 1623. For two years in the dreary 
South and through the wilds of Telingana, 
in Bengal and Bihar, Shah Jahan suffered 
terrible privations which were cheerfully 
shared by Mumtaz and her children. At 
last, worn out by the relentless chase of 

1 Padshah-nama, i. 391; Amal-i-Salih adds “after 12 ghari* 
and 42 pah of the night had passed”. For festivities etc., 
see Amal-i-Salih (a secondary source), pp. 92-94. A list of 
Shah Jahan's children, vide Appendix. 



Nur Jahan’s fury, he sought peace with 
his father, consenting to send Dara and 
Aurangzib as his hostages to the Court. 
The two princes left the Deccan for Lahor 
towards the close of the winter of 1625. 

Dara and Aurangzib met the Emperor 
at some stage between Attock and Rohtas 
(near Rawalpindi), on his return journey 
from the Afghan country. Having now 
in her custody the three sons of Shah 
Jahan—for Shuja the most beloved of his 
grandchildren was already with Jahangir 
—Nur Jahan began to conspire more 
confidently to set aside the succession of 
that Prince. But before her plots could 
mature Jahangir breathed his last in the 
Rajaur territory, on Sunday, 29th October, 
1627 (28th Safar, 1037 A.H.). 

Shah Jahan formally crowned him¬ 
self at Agra on February 4, 1628 (8th 
Jamadi-us-sani 1037 A.H.), 1 and about 
three weeks later the princes were 

1 Coronation of Shah Jahan, Pad. I. A. 87-98; arrival of 
the princes, ibid , 177; Amal-i-Salih, 225-231. An interesting 
notice of the arrival of princes, W. Foster’s English Factories 
(1623-16291 P . 247. 



[CH. I. 

brought to the Court by their maternal 
grandfather Asaf Khan. They reached 
Akbar’s mausoleum at Sikandra on 
February 26, and were ordered to halt 
there for the night. In the afternoon 
Mumtaz Mahal snatched a visit to her 
sons in a tent set up for her reception, 
midway between Agra and Sikandra. 
Next day, Dara made his salutation to the 
Throne in a public darbar, offering the 
customary nazar and nisar (money to be 
scattered over the Emperor’s head to take 
off evil influences). He was granted a 
daily allowance of one thousand Rupees, 
besides two lakhs of Rupees in cash, as 
his share of the royal bounty at the 

Section 2.—Education 

To the Court-historian of Shah Jahan 
“going to school” (ha maktab raftan) 
meant no more than a bare mention of 
the name of the tutor. The Padshah- 
narna tells us that Dara’s tutor was 
Mulla Abdul Latif Sultanpuri. 1 The 

IPad. I. B. 344-345. 

dara’s teachers 


primary and secondary courses of Dara’s 
study seem to have been of the same 
stereotyped character as those of an 
average Mughal prince,—who was usually 
taught the Quran , the standard works of 
Persian poetry, and the history of Timur. 
Great attention was paid to calligraphy 
and the cultivation of a graceful epistolary 
style for which Abul Fazl, at once the 
model and despair of the age, was recom¬ 
mended. An apt, pupil, Dara learnt all 
that Abdul Latif could teach, developed 
scholarly habits, and above all imbibed his 
master’s predilection for the maaqulat, 
i.e., speculative sciences. The famous 
calligraphist Abdur Rashid Dailemi 1 is 
said to have been one of the instructors of 
Dara. He wrote a clear and elegant hand, 
which was a close copy of his father’s, as 
the autographs of Shah Jahan and Dara 

1 Among the exhibits at the Exhibition in connection with 
the Nagpur Session of the Indian Historical Records Commis¬ 
sion, 1928, a specimen of the calligraphy of Abdur Rashid 
Dailemi was shown (Collection of A. Ghosh, 42, Shambaxar 
Street, Calcutta). 1 have seen another specimen in a private 
album of Hakim Habib-ur-Rahaman, Chok, Dacca. Opinions 
differ whether Abdur Rashid was a tutor of Dara. 



[CH. I. 

preserved in some MSS. of the Oriental 
Public Library of Patna and elsewhere 
show. He read much Persian poetry; but 
Firdausi and Sadi had far less interest for 
him than Rumi and Jami. Unlike his 
father, history had neither lesson nor 
inspiration for him. If Shah Jahan 
admired Alexander the Great, Dara pre¬ 
ferred Aristotle and Plato. The miracles 
of saints entertained him far more than 
the exploits of warlike heroes. 

Dara Shukoh remained a lifelong 
student with an unbalanced passion for 
study and speculation. His mind had a 
mystic bent and he sought allegory where 
others had found stern facts. He studied 
the Quran and the Hadis with the assi¬ 
duity and the pre-possession of a theorist 
eager to prove a thesis. In his Quranic 
studies he rejected the commentaries of 
the early Fathers of the orthodox school, 
and hated Arabicism as productive of 
intolerance and intellectual sterility. He 
Bhunned the jurists and never cared to 
study Islamic Jurisprudence. Shah Jahan 
wished to train up the Crown Prince in 

dara’s liberal views 


the duties of government under his own 
eyes and always kept him at Court. But 
Dara lacked the capacity to study men 
and things at first-hand, and though 
brought up at Court, could never judge a 
courtier aright. 

The youthful Prince found himself at 
the cross-ways in the very beginning of 
his career. Since the death of Akbar the 
forces of reaction in the empire had been 
gathering strength beneath the calm sur¬ 
face of the ebbing Liberalism. Dara was 
deceived by appearances, and Shah Jahan 
had not possibly warned him of the 
dangers ahead. If any one should truly 
inherit the empire of Akbar it must be 
done with Akbar’s policy and idealism; 
so did the Prince think. The mantle of 
Akbar thus fell on him; but it proved 
Ajax’s burden upon less sturdy shoulders. 
Dara realized the futility of evolving a 
new religion, unintelligible and unaccept¬ 
able to Hindus and Musalmans alike. 
He could never think of straying out¬ 
side the fold of Islam to embrace 
humanity in love and amity; in the very 



[CH. I. 

heart of Islam he would seek a common 
platform for the warring creeds. He 
resolved to retain in full his allegiance to 
Muhammad, and yet be a catholic-hearted 
promoter of unity and peace reconciling 
Islam to the spirit of progress, culture and 
civilization of the world at large. The 
esoteric path of Islam was taken up by 
him, and he devoted his ample leisure to 
theosophical studies. He read in transla¬ 
tion the Jewish, Christian, and Brahmani- 
Oal scriptures in the course of his investi¬ 
gation about the doctrine of Tauhid or 
Divine Pantheism. 

He patronized Sanskrit scholars, 
translated the Bhagavad Gita, and 50 
Upanishads with their help, mastered 
Hindi, and wrote hymns in this popular 
vernacular. In short, he focussed in him¬ 
self all the liberal influences of the age, 
and was looked upon by the Hindus as a 
re-incarnation of the spirit of Akbar. To 
posterity the name of Dara Shukoh 
became a byword for a man learned in 
philosophic lore. 



Section 3.—Betrothal and Bereavement 

About two years after Shah Jahan’s 
accession to the throne, the renowned 
general Khan Jahan Lodi, a commander 
of 7,000 horse, rose in rebellion and fled 
to the South. As he threatened to league 
himself with the ruler of Bijapur, Shah 
Jahan marched to the Deccan in the 
month of December 1629. Dara also 
travelled with the imperial camp, but did 
not take part in any action. While the 
Emperor was touring through Khandesh, 
Mumtaz Mahal proposed a match between 
the Crown Prince and the daughter of the 
deceased Prince. Sultan Parvez. Shah 
Jahan heartily entered into the project 
and issued orders to make preparations 
for the marriage on a most magnificent 
scale, but the queen suddenly died at 
Burhanpur in the night of 7th June, 1631 
(17th Zilqada, 1040 A.H.) after giving 
birth to a daughter, Gauharara Begam. 
After an absence of about 2| years the 



[Ch. L 

Emperor 1 returned to the capital (June 9, 


Children of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal 
( Padshah-nama, Vol. I. A.. 391-393). 

1. HuR-UN-NISA —Saturday, 8th Safar, 1022 A. Ph 

born at Agra ; died after 3 years and one 
month at Ajmir on Wednesday, 24th Rabi- 
us-sani, 1025 A. H. (b. 20th March, 1613 ; 
d. 1st May, 1616). 

2. JaHANARA Begam— 21st Safar, 1023 H. (Wednes¬ 

day 23rd March 1614) born at the village of 
Heeni during the Mewar campaign. 

3. DaRA SHUKOH —Monday night, 29th Safar, 1024 

H. born at Ajmir (20th March 1615). 

4. SHAH Shuja —Sunday night, 18th Jamadi-ul- 

akhir, 1025 A. H. at Ajmir (23rd June 1616). 

5. RaUSHAN Rai [RaushanaraJ Begam— 2nd 

Ramzan, 1026 H. at Burhanpur. (Sunday* 
24th August, 1617). 

IShah jahan’s state exit from Burhanpur 24th Ramxan, 
1041 A.H. (April 4, 1632), Pad, I. A. 422; state entry into the 
capital on 1st Zilhijja, 1041 A.H. (9th June, 1632). Dara 
Ststikoh, sitting behind the Emperor, scatters money ( ni$ar ) 
over his father's head— Pad. 1. A. 426. 


6. AURANGZIB—Sunday night, 15th Ziiqada, 1027 H. 

at Dohad in the Panch Mahal District, 
Bombay Presidency. (24th October 1618). 

7. UMMED BaKHSH— Wednesday, 11th Muharram, 

1029 H. near Sarhind ; died at Burhanpur 
in the month of Rabi-us-sani, 1031 H. 
8th December 1619—February 1622). 

8. StJRIYA Banu BegAM —20th Rajab, 1030: died 

at the age of seven on 23rd Shaban, 1037. 
(31st May, 1621—18th April 1628). 

9. A Son —Born in 1032 A. H. ; died before being 


10. Murad Bakhsh— 25th Zilhijja, 1033, (28th Sep¬ 

tember 1624) at the fort of Rohtas in Bihar. 

11. LUTFULLAH—Wednesday 14th Safar, 1036 H. 

(25 Oct., 1626), died after 19 months on 
9th Ramzan 1037. 

12. Daulat Afza —4th Ramzan 1037 H., died 20th 

Ramzan, 1038 H. (28th April 1628—3rd May 

13. A DAUGHTER—10th Ramzan, 1039 H ; died 

immediately after. (13th April 1630). 

14. GauHarARA Begam —Wednesday night, 17th 

Ziiqada, 1040 A. H. at Burhanpur, (7th 
June, 1631). 



Section I.— Marriace of Dara Shukoh 

After the return of the Emperor to 
Agra preparations for Dara’s marriage 
were resumed under the supervision of 
Jahanara Begam, assisted by the capable 
governess Siti-un-nisa Khanam. 1 The 
princess took the utmost pains to make 
the celebration of the Crown Prince’s 
nuptials as grand as the deceased 
Mumtaz might have wished. Out of the 
total expenses of thirty-two lakhs of 
Rupees, Jahanara alone contributed 16 
lakhs. The sachaq (first gifts with the 
auspicious red dye for the bride), worth 
two lakhs, was sent on 11th November, 
1632 in a magnificent procession, accom¬ 
panied by the mother, elder sister and 
paternal aunts of the late Empress {Pad. 
I. A. 453). The actual marriage festivity 

1 A biographical sketch of Siti-un-nisa Khanam; Padahah - 
nmm> U* 628-631; Sarkar's Studiet in Mughal India , 



came off three months later. In the night 
of Friday, February 1, 1633 (1st Shaban, 
1042), on the occasion of the henna-bandi 
ceremony, a grand majlis was held in 
the court-yard of the Diwan-i-khas; the 
Emperor for the first time after death of 
Mumtaz Mahal appeared there in festive 
apparel to preside at the banquet, and 
allowed music to play again in the palace. 
Hundreds of heart-ravishing songstresses 
entertained the assembly, and from every 
corner of the hall arose the echo of joy. 
The hands of Dara were, according to the 
custom, dyed red with the henna (Hindi 
“Mehdi”; Lawsonia inermis), by ladies 
concealed behind the curtains, while 
handsome maids came to stain the fingers 
of distinguished guests with the red 
dye, and tied their fingers with gold- 
embroidered handkerchiefs. When this 
pleasant function came to a close, the 
guests were dismissed with the customary 
distribution of sashes (also called kamar- 
band), among them. 

Next evening Dara, mounted on a 
stately charger, was brought to the Public 



[CH. 1. 

Audience Hall from his own mansion in 
a magnificent procession under the escort 
of the three younger princes. When the 
Prince stood near the throne after making 
his obeisance, the Emperor put a string of 
pearls around his neck and tied on Dara’s 
head the same sehra (bridegroom’s 
crown) which had been placed on his own 
by Jahangir in the night of his marriage 
with Mumtaz. When two prahars and six 
gharis of the night had passed (i.e., after 
midnight) Qazi Muhammad Islam, 1 the 
most fanatical Mulla of his time, was sent 
for to officiate at the marriage ceremony 
which was performed in the presence of 
the Emperor. He fixed as the kabin of 
the bride the same amount (viz., five lakhs 
of Eupees) which had been promised to 
Mumtaz (Pad. I. A. 458-459). The festi¬ 
vities came to a happy close on 8th 
February (8th Shaban) ; this day the 

1 He was so strict a Sunni that when he fell ill he threw 
Into the fife a recipe because it happened to be taken from 
the work of a Shia doctor I He died in 1061 A.H. (1651 
AJX). For a biographical notice, see Maamr-ul-umara, Hi. 



Emperor, accompanied by his sons, high 
nobles and household servants, paid a 
visit to Dara’s house and was entertained 
most magnificently by that Prince. 

Section 2.—Conjugal Life 

Though the harem of Dara had the 
usual supplement of slave-girls, he con¬ 
tracted no other marriage. Stray darts of 
Cupid, which did not spare even the 
Puritan Aurangzib,—might have some¬ 
times made the passionate Prince restless; 
but certainly love was ever present bet¬ 
ween Dara and his wedded wife Karim- 
un-nisa, popularly known as Nadira 
Begam. If we are to believe Manucci, 
the Prince once fell violently in love with a 
Hindu dancing-girl named Rana Dil, who 
refused to yield except on terms of lawful 
wedlock. His passion was so consuming 
that when Shah Jahan opposed this un¬ 
worthy proposal, he began to pine to death. 
At length the Emperor sanctioned this 
marriage, and Rana Dil proved as noble 
and faithful a wife as any high-born 


dame. 1 Though based on doubtful testi¬ 
mony, this story is not half as romantic 
as the account of the love-sickness of 
Aurangzib in mid-life for the frolicsome 
Hira Bai (Zainabadi Mahal), to please 
whom the ideal Musalman of the age 
once raised the forbidden cup to his lips. 

Dara’s love for Nadira was not less 
steadfast and romantic than that of Shah 
Jahan for Mumtaz. Nor did Nadira in 
beauty, physical and moral, and in forti¬ 
tude and devotion, suffer by comparison 
with her mother-in-law. When once she 
fell seriously ill at Jahangirabad while 
travelling with the Court from Lahor to 
Kabul, Dara most tenderly nursed her for 
several months. 2 They too never separated 
in life, and misfortune made their love 
shine the brighter. All his sons and 
daughters were born of Nadira Begam ; a 
notice of them is given below. 

The Children of Dara Shukoh and Nadira Becam. 
il. A daughter, born at Agra on Sunday, 29th 
Rajab, 1043 A.H. (19th January 1634). The 

IStofia. ». 222, 261. 
iPad. a. 301, 571. 634. 



prudence disapproved of this rash enter¬ 
prise, and did not allow the Prince to 
proceed beyond Ghazni. In order to re¬ 
assure the garrison and the inhabitants of 
Qandahar, two distinguished officers, 
Rustam Khan Bahadur Firuz Jung and 
Said Khan Bahadur Zafar Jang were sent 
there with 30,000 horse. About a month 
afterwards Dara was recalled to Court, 
and on his arrival at Lahor (2nd 
September, 1642) 1 was received with all the 
honours due to a victorious general. 

Section 6.—Aurangzib's failures at Qandahar 
For five years after the second expedi¬ 
tion of Dara against the Persians, Shah 
Jahan enjoyed some repose, thanks to the 
helplessness and minority of the young 
Shah Abbas II. But the Persian King 
belied the calculations of his enemy, and 
suddenly in the depth of winter (January, 
1649) appeared before Qandahar with a 
well-appointed army. Shah Jahan sacri¬ 
ficed this much-coveted possession for the 

. * -- 

1 Second expedition of Dara towards Qandahar: Pad. ii. 





[CH. III. 

comfort of a genial winter. Instead of 
personally taking the field, he sent for¬ 
ward reinforcements under Aurangzib 
and Sadullah Khan, but the cowardly 
Mughal garrison surrendered the fort 
before the arrival of the Prince. 
Aurangzib laid siege to Qandahar in May, 
1649, but was forced to withdraw after 
three months’ vain effort. 

Then, after most elaborate prepara¬ 
tions for three years, Aurangzib and 
Sadullah were sent a second time at the 
head of a grand army 60,000 strong to re¬ 
conquer Qandahar. The second siege 
lasted from 2nd May, 1652 to July 1652; 
but in spite of strenuous digging and 
bombardment, success seemed as distant 
as ever. Aurangzib was eager to deliver 
a general assault with the courage of des¬ 
pair; but the Emperor refused to sanction 
such a mad enterprise, and ordered him 
to abandon the siege. 

Section 7.—Dara appointed to besiege Qandahar: 

His preparations 

When the army returned crest-fallen 
from Qandahar to Kabul on 9th July, 


1652, Dara offered to lead another expedi¬ 
tion to retrieve the prestige of the empire. 
Accordingly it was decided that next 
spring the imperial army with the Crown 
Prince as Commander-in-Chief should 
start from Lahor against the Persians. 
The Prince now held the rank of 30,000 
zat , with a contingent of 20,000 horse, do- 
aspah, seh-aspah, which had been the 
mansab of Shah Jahan before his acces¬ 
sion to the throne. Besides, the entire 
military resources of the empire were 
placed at his disposal for equipping the 
expeditionary force. The provinces of 
Kabul and Multan were added to his 
viceroyalty and these were to be governed 
by his deputies, Sulaiman Shukoh and 
Muhammad Ali Khan respectively. 

Dara had hitherto been more re¬ 
nowned as a scholar than as a soldier; and 
the whole empire expected a surprise. No 
one had a higher opinion of the ability of 
the Prince than the Prince himself, and 
in his estimation an Aurangzib or a 
Sadullah was only a sorry mediocrity. 
Naturally impulsive, emotional and un- 




reasonably optimistic, his own fancy often 
imposed upon him; like Peter the Hermit 
of Gibbon, Dara “believed whatever he 
wished, and whatever he believed he 
saw in dreams and visions”. His con¬ 
stant exercise of emotion and association 
with Sufi and Hindu mystics had deve¬ 
loped in him a frame of mind, credulous, 
sensitive and impractical. Optimism now 
played upon the imagination of the 
Prince, who was already having dreams 
about the speedy fall of Qandahar. 

It is said that one day during his stay 
at Kabul two Sufi faqirs came to the 
Prince’s parlour and sat silently hiding 
their heads in the folds of their patched 
frocks. After a while one of them raised 
his head and cried out, “I am now 
witnessing the affairs of Iran; the Shah of 
Persia is dead”. The second exclaimed 
“So too am I; but I will not come back 
till the coffin of the Shah is deposited in 
the earth”. Having heard these words, 
the Prince said “I also have seen in a 
vision (makashfah), that I shall not be 



required to stay at Qandahar for more 
than seven days, and during these seven 

days the fort will be conquered. 

The death of Shah Abbas may be true”. 
However, he returned to Lahor at the 
approach of winter and vigorously pushed 
on his preparations; “whatever could not 
be done in a year” says Waris, “was com¬ 
pleted by the Prince during his stay of 3 
months and 9 days at Lahor”. ( Lataif, 
7a; Waris 70a). “One may form some idea 
of the vast stores and siege-materials 
collected by the Prince”, says the author 
of Lataif-ul-akhbar, “from the fact that 
6000 bamboos, each of which was not less 
than ten yards (1 yd.=42 finger-breadths), 
in length were got ready for the construc¬ 
tion of scaling ladders”. ( Lataif , 8b). 

Special attention was paid to the 
equipment of the Artillery and to the 
organization of the Army Supplies. The 
Banjaras, who formed a caste of Army 
contractors and grain merchants in those 
days, were bound down to supply grain 
to the Qandahar army. The gun foundry 



[Ch. Ill. 

of Lahor cast three big guns 1 and seven 
light pieces ( top-i-hawai ). 

The full strength of Artillery went up 
to 7 big guns, 17 top-i-hawai, and 30 
smaller pieces; thirty thousand shells, 
14,000 rockets and 1,500 maunds of lead, 
and a proportionate quantity of powder 
were collected in the munition depot at 

The personnel of the Artillery consisted 
partly of well-paid European gunners, and 
a few military engineers. During his stay 

1 The largest of these was named Fath Mubarak* which 
could discharge a shell weighing 45 seers; upon this was in¬ 
scribed a pious wish : 

Top i-Dara Shukoh Shah-i-Jahan; 

Mc-kuriad Qcmdahar-ra uxriran. 

i.e., May this gun of Dara Shukoh, the lord of the world* 
devastate Qandahar. 

Another gun capable of firing thirty-two-seer shells was given 
the name of “fCishwar Kusha*\ and the third bore a Sanskrit 
name *Garh-bhanjan\ The biggest piece, capable of firing 
a shell weighing fifty-six seers (112 lbs.), named ‘Qila-kusha* 
was inscribed with the following couplet: 

**Top~uDara Shukoh, Qila-katha; 

Sar-i-Garjasp me-bur d ba-haWa, 

May this gun of Dara Shukoh, named Qila-kusha, fling 
the head of Garjasp into the air {Lataif-ul-akhbar 7a, 8a; 
Waris, 7b) 



at Lahor the Prince is said to have ordered 
the construction of a mock-fort on the 
model of Qandahar with a view to have 
a rehearsal of its capture. He then 
summoned the Feringees, who were expert 
in sieges, and who had with them books 
written by them on the science of captur¬ 
ing forts (kitabha dar an fan sakhtand u 
ham-rah dashtand). In these books there 
were drawings of all imaginable kinds of 
forts with their description, and methods 
of making approaches in such and such 
a manner if the fort were of this or that 
category. On the appointed day the 
Prince himself went to witness this mimic 
siege of Qandahar at Lahor. He visited 
the two siege batteries erected against the 
toy-Qandahar, and ordered a bombard¬ 
ment of its walls ; and a party was told off 
to storm and capture it. The Prince re¬ 
ceived the congratulations of those pre¬ 
sent, and this event was commemorated 
in a chronogram “Fath-i-awwal-i Dara 
Shukoh” i.e., the first victory of Dara 
Shukoh. He returned to the palace, prais- 


ing the battery of the Feringees as superior 
to that of the Hindustanis. 1 

The expeditionary force mobilized at 
Lahor numbered, according to the official 
muster-roll, 70,000 horse, made up of the 
contingents "of about 110 Muslim and 58 
Rajput officers of rank (ranging from 
5-hazari to 5 -sadi) and of troops of the 
Prince’s own establishment. Besides, five 
thousand mounted match-lockmen and 
three thousand mounted archers of the 
Ahadi Corps, ten thousand infantry armed 
with match-locks, and 60 war-elephants of 
the imperial stable (exclusive of 170 
elephants of the Prince and the mansab- 
dars), added to its effective strength. The 
non-combatant establishment of the Army 
consisted of 6,000 diggers and hatchet- 
men, 500 stone-cutters and sappers, and 
500 2 water-carriers, exclusive of the usual 

1 Laiaif, MS. 9a, 9b. 

2 The number 500 in this passage of Khafi Khan seems 

to be a misprint, if not an error; because 500 is too small 
a number for sappers and water-carriers, considering the size 
of the army. Five thousand in both cases is perhaps the 
correct number. Waris says in a subsequent passage that 
Sayyid Mahmud Barha with 1070 sappers...,,.was appoint- 



complement of camp-followers. Prepara¬ 
tions having been completed, Dara wrote 
to the Emperor that the astrologers had 
fixed 23rd Rabi-ul-awwal (11th February 
1653), for starting, and 7th Jamadi-us-sani 
(25th April), for laying siege to Qandahar. 
The Emperor directed that the army 
should march by way of the Thal-Chotiali 
route via Multan, as provisions were 
abundant between Multan and Qandahar. 
On this occasion, the Prince received as 
present jewels, arms, elephants, and horses 
worth five lakhs of Rupees and one lakh of 
gold coins and one crore of Rupees for his 
military chest; in presents and reward to 
officers and troops another twenty lakhs 
were spent. 1 , 

Great enthusiasm prevailed in the 
army, particularly among the men and 
officers of the Prince’s own contingent, 
who were all “untried braves” like their 
master. Their incorrigible optimism 
irritated those who had grown old in war 

ed to aaaist Mulla Fazil in the work of draining off the 
ditch (Wari* 74b.) 

iKhaff Khan. i. 716-17; Wari* MS. 706, 


and twice returned unsuccessful from 
Qandahar. Every officer of Dara con¬ 
sidered himself a Rustam or an Afrasiyab 
of the age, and seemed reluctant to share 
the glory of conquering Qandahar with 
their imperial auxiliaries. However, Dara 
relied for his success not so much upon 
temporal powers as on spiritual forces. 
He took into his pay a number of “praying 
Mullas” (arbab-i-duaat), who began pray¬ 
ing for his victory at Lahor and were 
taken with the army to Qandahar. In an 
age of superstition and black magic, no¬ 
body however pious and enlightened could 
ignore the Devil altogether; so the 
Prince employed also several magicians 
(sahiran), for generating worms (kiram) 
in the food-stuffs of the besieged, and 
creating dissensions in the ranks of the 
enemy etc., by their incantations. Thus, 
armed at all points and having impartially 
pressed man God and Satan into his 
service, the Crown Prince took the field 
against the Persians for the third time. 

On 11th February 1653, after three 
gharis of the day had passed, Prince Dara 



Shukoh came out of the city of Lahor, and 
took up his quarters in the camp outside. 
After a two days’ halt he began his march 
by way of Multan, Doki and Pishin. On 
23rd April (5th Jamadi-us-sani), the 
Indian army debouched through the 
Panjmundrah pass and encamped on the 
25th at Mard-i-qila, five kos from 
Qandahar. Thus the auspicious date (7th 
Jamadi-us-sani), which the astrologers 
had fixed for starting the siege, was lost 
through dilatory march. Though the 
advanced division of the army under 
Rustam Khan Bahadur Firuz Jang had 
already reached the fort of Qandahar and 
the first shots were exchanged, Dara’s 
officers, Abdullah Beg and Jafar, insisted 
upon having another auspicious day to 
begin digging trenches, and evidently 
owing to this the commanders did not 
occupy their allotted sections in the 
blockading line immediately after their 
arrival, but on Thursday, 10th Jamadi-us- 
sani, 1063 A.H. However the Prince did 
not occupy his head-quarters in the 
Garden of Kamran (the ill-fated brother 



[CH. III. 

of Humayun) till seven days later, on 
another auspicious day, 16th Jamadi-us- 
sani 1 (4th May 1653). 

1 Dara’s march to Qandahar, Waiis 74a-74b; Lataif , 
9h-13a; according to the latter authority Dara occupied the 
camp in the Garden of Kamran on Wednesday 16th Jamadi-us- 
sani, x.e., 4th May, 1653. But Waris says “on the 15th” x.e., 
3rd May. 



Section I.— Old Qandahar and its outposts 

The old city of Qandahar which was 
destroyed by Nadir Shah in 1738, was 
situated about two miles outside the 
modern city on the Herat Road. The city 
consisted of three distinct parts, each on 
a separate eminence, and capable of 
mutual defence. On the serrated crest of 
the hill stood many towers united by cur¬ 
tains. The highest of these called 
Lakah, commanded the citadel (named 
Daulatabad), which stood lower down on 
the second eminence, while the town and 
the market-place ( mandi ), both walled 
round, were situated further below on the 
first table-land above the eastern plain. 
The ramparts of the old town which were 
built of dried clay, strengthened by the 
mixture of chopped straw and stones, 



[CH. IV. 

were at places ten yards broad. On the 
side of the plain was a wide and deep 
ditch, and on the north face of the ridge 
against which the fort nestled, there are 
forty steps cut in the rock and leading 
up to a cave half way up the hill (called 
Chehel-zina) which commanded both the 
citadel and the city. The redoubt of 
Lakah crowned a peak in the middle of 
the ridge and defended Qandahar on its 
western flank, where the hill descends to 
the plain in a steep scarp. “Proceeding 
along the hill from the north-eastern 
corner of the ridge where the wall first 
leaves the hill, we come in succession to 
the gates of Baba Wali, Waisqaran, 
Khwajah Khizir and Mashuri, till at last 
the wall strikes the ridge again at the 
'«outh-western corner of the fort, where 
stood an earth-work bastion and a re¬ 
doubt”. (Aurangzib, Vol. 1 & 2, pp. 124-7). 

Section 2.—Dispositions of the besieging Army 

On Thursday, 28th April, 1653, the 
divisional commanders of the army com- 


pleted the line of investment by taking up 
their positions in the following order:— 

Beginning from the 

against Baba Wali Gate. 

against Waisqaran Gate 

between Waisqaran and 
Khwajah Khizir. 

against Khwajah Khizir 

between Khizir Gate 
and Mashuri Gate. 

against Mashuri Gate. 

against Chehel-zina 

against Lakah Redoubt 

Mahabat Khan, 5-hazari. 

Qilich Khan, 5-hazari. 

Jafar, Mir-i-Atish of the 
Prince, with his artil 

Abdullah, Mir Bakhshi 
of the Prince, with 
the infantry. 

Qasim Khan, Mir-i-Atish 
of the Imperial Artil¬ 
lery, 4-hazari. 

Mirza Rajah Jai Singh, 

Ikhlas Khan, 3-hazari. 

Baqi Khan, Champat 
Rai Bundela, Sayyid 
Mirza, and others. 

Mulla Fazil, Mir-i-Saman of the Prince, 
was entrusted with the work of draining 
off the ditch, and Sayyid Mahmud Barha 
with 1,070 sappers and a contingent of 
troops was appointed to assist him. On 



[CH. IV. 

4th May, the Prince occupied his camp in 
front of Mirza Kamran’s garden to the 
west of the Lakah hill. Rustam Khan 
Bahadur Firuz Jang with a strong force 
was stationed a little ahead to watch the 
road from Bust, and other thanas were 
put in charge of officers of approved 

Section 3.—Sorties and night-attacks 

On the very first day, a body of 
Persians came out of the Khizir Gate and 
challenged the Hindustanis. Khwajah 
Khan Uzbeg rode out to meet them with 
a few followers, and pursued the enemy 
to the edge of the ditch where he lost his 
horse, and received several bullet-wounds 
from volleys fired from the rampart. 
While he was returning, the fugitives 
turned upon him, and were about to 
despatch him when a voice of command 
Cried out, “Shame upon you. Let him go 
away”. When the news reached the ears 
of the Prince, he sent for Khwajah Khan 
and gave him a special khilat and a horse, 



besides an increase of 200 sawar in his 

A party of three hundred Persians 
fell upon the men of Izzat Khan’s trench, 
when they had assembled for prayer 
early at dawn, on the 2nd Ramzan (17th 
July, 1653), killing and wounding many 
men. Had it not been for the brave suc¬ 
cour of Qutb Khan and Shams Khan, 
sons of Nazar Bahadur Kheshgi, a great 
disaster would have befallen them. These 
two brothers had 31 of their men 
wounded, and the troops of Mahabat 
Khan, who encountered the Persians near 
their trench during their retreat, lost 14 
in killed, and 31 wounded. 

Izzat Khan, a favourite servant of 
Dara concealed the extent of his. loss 
(about 90 in wounded and killed), carried 
some corpses of the Persians killed else¬ 
where to his own trench, and showed 
them to the officer deputed to enquire, as 
the trophies of the heroism of his own 
men! 1 

1 LataiJ-uI-ak.hbar, 7(xt-77a. *The official account in 
Padthah-nama, apparently based upon the despatches of Data 




[CH. IV. 

Sorties became more frequent to¬ 
wards the close of the siege, specially upon 
the trenches of Dara’s favourite Jafar. 
The Persians were as vigilant in night- 
watch as the Hindustanis were negligent. 
They often crept silently into the trenches, 
and returned after leaving headless 
tpdnks of sappers as the ghastly memorial 
/of their nocturnal visits. In the night of 
24th May, Fath Muhammad Kalal the 
darogha of the beldars (digger?) in the 
trench of Qasim Khan, went out with four 

~*~$ays "Sorties were few and none successful; but once 
owing to the negligence of the men in Mahabat Khan’s trench 
some of the Khan’s men were killed and some wounded; 
when the Persians were returning, men of Izzat Khan’s 
trench who were near punished them, killing several of the 
Persians** (Waris 77b). That Dara had subsciibed to a false 
report about this affair became the general talk in the camp. 
The author of Lataif-ul-akhbar says, "As from the very start 
it became clear that the Crown Prince wished that all the 
credit of efforts in capturing this fortress should go to his 

own servants, particularly to Jafar and Izzat Khan. 

whatever the soldiers of Mahabat Khan did to punish the 
enemy, drive them away, and prevent them from carrying off 
their dead went to the credit of Izzat Khan in reports to the 
Emperor; the plea put forward was the presence of two 
slain enemies which the men of Izzat Khan picked up in 

front of Mahabat Khan’s mention of 

Qutb Khan and Shams Khan. . (78b~79b). 



beldars to the trench-head ; next morning 
their corpses were found lying without 
their heads. The same night another 
party slipped across, the ground between 
the posts of Mahabat Khan and Qilich 
Khan into the field lying behind their 
lines, killed 3 men, and hamstrung four 
horses ( Lataif , 31 b). Even the cautious 
Bundela chiefs were not immune from 
such unpleasant surprises; at midday on 
30th June, noticing the men in the 
trenches of Pahar Singh Bundela off their 
guard, a party of the besieged came upon 
them and slew about 60 people; some 
troops of Pahar Singh pursued them and 
lost 20 more from the fire of the fort {ibid 
58 a). On the 3rd of Ramzan (18th 
July) about 30 Persian musketeers came 
down to the Lakah Hill, cut the throats 
of four camels and five cows which were 
grazing on the ground between the battery 
of Ch&mpat Rai Bundela and that of Baqi 
Khan, and were carrying away the lawful 
flesh when they were set upon by several 
hundred imperialists; more Persians cam© 
to the rescue of their comrades and volleys 



[CH. IV. 

were exchanged; but the Persians got 
away with their fat game (79 b). These 
are but a few typical incidents of frequent 
occurrence during the siege. 

Section 4.—Magic and Miracles 
Though Dara Shukoh was a sincere 
lover of God, it was no part of his creed 
to make God’s quarrel his own. He 
brought from Lahor some workers of 
black magic along with a number of 
learned and pious ulemas as a supplement 
to his warlike equipment. One of these 
was a Hindu sannyasi, evidently a 
jTantric Sadhu, named Indra Gir, who 
ihad long enjoyed the Prince’s wine and 
victuals on the promise of working a 
miracle at Qandahar. He was looked 
upon as “the master of forty genii ( deo )”, 
whom he could employ to fill the ditch by 
pulling down its walls. On 3rd May 
Indra Gir was called upon to summon his 
deos, and try them against the fort, which 
seemed invincible to human efforts. Quite 
confidently he walked to the ditch to 
demand an entrance into the fort, and said 



in reply to the challenge of the Persian 
sentry, “I am one of the intimate asso¬ 
ciates of the Prince; I wish to see this 
fort, and smoke a chilam of tobacco on 
that high tower.”' The Persians took him 
inside the fort; and it was afterwards 
learnt from the deserters that he was 
taken to their chief who ordered that he 
should be taken round the fort, and enter¬ 
tained with a chilam of tobacco. The 
Persian commander sanctioned for him 
the usual jug of wine, food and other 
necessaries which Dara used to supply 
every day to Indra Gir. 

When Indra Gir became very im¬ 
portunate about going back, the suspicion 
of the Persians was aroused and he was 
put to the rack (shikanja). He revealed his 
secret under torture, and was employed to 
carry water for the Persians on duty in the 
Lakah redoubt. The Persian commander 
asked Indra Gir to practise some magic 
(sahiri) which would compel the Mughal 
army to retreat. But when he was dis¬ 
appointed with the sannyasi, he ordered 
that Indra Gir should be taken to the top 



[CH. IV. 

of the Jamrud-shahi hill, and flung down 
below to join his coiptfades of the nether 
world (. Lataif , 18a) 

On 23rd July, a Haji appeared in the 
camp of Dara. Under the cloak of piety 
he was a magician and a hypnotist (Sahir 
u chasham-band), and told the Prince that 
he had come from the country of Kanaur 
(Ganaur?) to secure the reduction of 
Qandahar by prayers and magic. He 
declared that he could by his incantations 
silence the fort-guns and muskets for one 
pas (3 hours) and two gharis, which was 
time enough for a few bold men to capture 
it. The Prince sanctioned for him free 
rations and Rs. 20 per diem as remunera¬ 
tion, and with some difficulty met a 
further demand for two dancing-girls, two 
gamblers, two thieves, one buffalo, a lamb 
and five cocks, requisitioned by the 
magician. Next came a Jogi with 40 dis¬ 
ciples and desired to offer a special prayer, 
which would secure the submission of the 
garrison within twenty days. He retired 
to a secluded place with his party, being 
granted free provisions and Rs. 100 daily 



for other expenses. Several Deccani 
Sadhus, called Gurus' who professed to be 
seventeenth century Count Zeppelins, 
undertook to build for the Prince a 
“wonderful thing which could carry two 
or three persons with hand-grenades 
(huqqah), and fly in the air without wings 
and feathers. They were allowed to make 
the experiment, free provisions and Rs. 40 
per diem being sanctioned for them. 
( Lataif , 85 a, 85b). 

Next day, the 24th July, the Naqibs 
moved from tent to tent, crying out to the 
soldiers to get ready for scaling the ram¬ 
parts. At noon the Haji came, and after 
a while he disappeared from view, but 
having reappeared at the close of the day 
said, “I have been inside the fort. . . . 
Tuesday noon I shall take the soldiers 
with me”. This was again deferred to 
Monday next. In the night of 26th July, 
the magician performed some diabolical 
rites for Jafar. The Haji lighted a lamp 

1 The author of Dahistan mentions a class of Kashmiri 
Brahmans, called Curuva gurina (Shea, ii. 103). 



[Ch. IV. 

and threw some grains of pulse (mash), 
upon it: then he fell into a weird dance, 
now jumping a yard high into the air, 
and now falling upon the ground. At the 
close of the dance, a dog was sacrificed 
before the lamp, and also the lamb and 
cocks ; then turning to the dancing-girls, 
gamblers, and thieves he said, “It is 
obligatory to sacrifice you all; however, 
I shall give my own blood instead of 
yours; you are free”. He inflicted a 
wound on his own thigh and taking out 
some blood of his own sprinkled it upon 
the blood of the slain beasts; again he fell 
to dancing which continued for some time. 
. . . Jafar was then called in, and ordered 
to wash his sword with the sacrificial 
blood which would make it cut through 
steel; he was further assured that these 
rites had made him an Achilles without 
Achilles’ heel. 

Next day when only four gharis of 
night remained, Jafar armed his followers 
and keeping them in absolute readiness 
went to wake up the Haji for silencing 
the fort-guns. The magician opened his 



eyes reluctantly and said, “Mirza Jafar, 
three deos (genii) are guarding this 
fortress, with them I had a tough fight 
last night, in the course of which several 
times I had to go up into the sky and 
come down to earth. I have as yet suc¬ 
ceeded in subduing two deos, who are safe 
in my custody; but the third, which is the 
most turbulent of the three, is still at large 
guarding the fort-walls. Let the attack 
be postponed till Monday next, because 
I hope to capture the refractory one by 
that time”. 

The activity of the magician on behalf 
of Jafar had been noised abroad, and 
evidently reached the Persians, who per¬ 
formed some counter-magic on Friday and 
threw down the carcase of a dog with its 
belly cut open and filled with boiled rice. 
They are said to have done the same thing 
and thrown the carcase of a dog into the 
trench of another officer, Rajah Rajrup of 
the Jammu hills, who was contemplating 
an assault on the Chehel-zina Tower. 
Thiwever, Jafar again went to the Haji on 
the appointed day with unabated enthu- 



[CH. IV. 

siasm; 1 the Haji told him that he had 
despaired of rounding up the third deo y 
and that unless the two captive deos were 
released, he himself might lose his life at 
their hands; the enterprise should there¬ 
fore be given up definitely! 

Section 5.—The capture of Bust and Girishk 

On May 13, 1653, Rustam Khan 
Bahadur Firuz Jang left the camp at the 
head of a well-appointed army of 15,000 
troops for the subjugation of Bust and 
other dependencies of Qandahar. He 
reached Bust on 21st May, made a de¬ 
monstration, and sent a messenger to 
Mahdi Quli Khan advising him to sur¬ 
render. As the Persians prepared to hold 
out, Rustam Khan requisitioned a big gun 
and some sappers from Qandahar, and 
blockaded the fort. When the big gun 
arrived, Mahdi Quli sued for terms and 
surrendered the fort on the tenth day of 
the siege (Waris, 76 a). But another 

lLataif MS, 86 a; 86 b; 87 a; 89b, 90 a. Recently an al¬ 
most similar story of a “Master of Ghosts** appeared in the 
State mum, Saturday, 9th Feb. 1929. , 



version of the fall of Bust is found in the 
non-official history, Lataif-ul-akhbar; it is 
said there that on the seventh day of the 
siege Rustam Khan spread a false story 
of the fall of Qandahar, and ordered a 
great rejoicing in his camp; Mahdi Quli 
was deceived by the ruse, and the fort was 
secured before a single shot had been fired 
from the newly-arrived big gun, which 
was nevertheless named “the Aman- 
talab ”! (Lataif, 35 b). 

Rustam Khan induced Mahdi Quli to 
write a letter to his son (who was in 
charge of the fort of Girishk, 30 miles 
higher up on the bank of the Helmand), 
to come over and accompany him to 
Hindustan; Mahdi Quli’s son evacuated 
Girishk, but fled to Farah. On 29th 
Shaban (15th July, 1653), Rustam Khan 
sent a detachment to punish Mirza 
Muhammad Raushan Gurji in the neigh¬ 
bourhood of Zamin Dawar. In the last 
week of July he himself made a raid 
across the Helmand to disperse an 
assemblage of Persians near the village of 
Nauzad (?). Rustam Khan was next 



[CH. IV. 

A novice in the trade of arms, Dara 
thought of scaring away the guards of 
the towers by an incessant discharge of 
rockets, without any storming party to 
seize the moment of the enemy’s con¬ 
fusion. For two consecutive nights, 7th 
and 8th May, several thousand rockets 
were discharged to the great delight of 
the Persians who had never seen a more 
brilliant display of fireworks. Highly 
pleased with the rocket-men and the 
officers in command, Dara gave a reward 
of Rs, 20 to each man, and a promotion 
of 100 zat to Muhammad Sadiq and Mir 

On 10th May, Jafar was temporarily 
shifted to a new position to erect a heavy 
battery against the eastern tower on the 
Chehel-zina. The bombardment was in¬ 
effectual, and the Persians silenced some 
of his guns. The charge of the battery 
was given at last to the right man, Rajah 
Rajrup of the Kangra Hills, who had dis¬ 
tinguished himself by his attack on this 
hill in the second siege. Dara gave Rajrup 
a promotion of 500 zat, 500 sawar, and 



was all praise for him (6th June). But 
shortly afterwards, Raj rap’s neighbour 
and hereditary enemy, Rajah Man 
Gwaliori, who had been a rival of Rajrupja- 
father in the first siege, ^got.^osgessibn -of' 
the Princels^eSrs - and coveted Rajrup’s 
cohWn'and. Rajrup, who had lost 46 men 
killed and 160 wounded in carrying for¬ 
ward the work, determined to hazard an 
attack at all cost. On 20th June he com¬ 
municated the time of assault to the com¬ 
manders of the batteries to his right and 
left, and also formally to the Prince for 
approval. Dara’s astrologers found the 
time “after 5 gharis” inauspicious, because 
of the presence of the sun in the sign of 
“the Cancer” which was not favourable, 
considering the position of the tower. 
Rajrup received positive orders to alter 
the time to “after the 18th ghari”. But 
before the astrologically correct time 
arrived, a younger brother of Jafar, who 
had been ailing for a long time, expired. 
This was considered as a bad omen and 
the order for attack was altogether can¬ 
celled; poor Rajrup suffered a further loss 


of 5 men killed, and about 20 wounded 
in recalling his advance-party. 

Three days after this, Dara in a fit of 
anger called Rajrup (in his absence) a 
liver-less fox and said, “Send him to the 
trench of Jafar, who will teach him well 
how to serve, and hand over his battery 
to Ra^ah Man Gwaliori”. Qazi Afzal 
firmly defended Rajrup, and saved him 
from this humiliation. On 15th July 
Vallabh Chauhan was asked to take over 
the charge of Chehel-zina from Rajrup; 
but he excused himself saying “I am a 
man of the plain and not a mountaineer ; 
I am ignorant of hill-fighting”. This 
threw the Prince into a rage, and he 
ordered that the Chauhan should be forth¬ 
with conducted to the trench of Jafar; 
but he relented soon and recalled him on 
his way to Jafar’s. Vallabh was allowed 
to relieve Devi Singh Busidela, who was 
appointed to the charge of Chehel-zina 
(Lataif, 72b). But this post was henceforth 
neglected, all resources being now con¬ 
centrated in filling the ditch and pushing 


forward the trenches in the main line of 

On 14th September (2nd Zilqada), the 
works in the Chehel-zina 1 battery were 
dismantled; Devi Singh handed over the 
materials to Raj rap, who was now re¬ 
quired to co-operate with Jafar in push¬ 
ing the approach to Sher Haji, a bastion 
of the fort near the Khwajah Waisqaran 
gate. As a colleague of Jafar, everything 
went on well with Rajrup; Dara gave him 
Rs. 5000 in reward to relieve his imme¬ 
diate distress, and Rs. 5000 more was 

1 Chehel-zina; Rajrup's bravery is praised by Waris :— 

‘‘Rajrup.drove the trench to the foot of the 

Chehel-zina and although a gun was sent to him the bombard¬ 
ment was ineffectual.An assault was made on 

one of the towers, but the garrison used naphtha; many men 
were wounded; the Prince ordered Rajrup to desist. .... 
Next he was given charge of a battery midway between those 
of Jafar and Qilich Khan” (76a). The big gun referred to 
is evidently the Aman-talab, which was returned to Rajrup's 
battery on 14th June, after Bust had surrendered (Lataif, 43a). 
The attack, mentioned above, was not upon Chehel-zina, but 
Oti a redoubt on the Lakah hill, delivered in the night of 14th 
July by Rajrup in concert with three other officers, Champat 
Rai Bundela, Devi Singh and Sayyid Mahmud, The im¬ 
perialists meditated a surprise; but they themselves were cruelly 
surprised, and Rajah Rajrup, whose men were foremost, 
suffered heavily, the pick of his contingent being destroyed, 
(/hid, 70b). 




[Ch. IV. 

promised to him when his trench would 
reach the foot of Sher Haji. 

Such is the treatment which most of 
his officers received at the hands of Dara. 
It was only human that in the civil war 
Rajrup shrank from siding with him 
against Aurangzib and even turned 
hostile to Dara. 

Section 7.—Sapping 

The formidable chain of posts which 
had been established against the main 
gates on the eastern side of Qandahar 
slowly approached the ditch by running 
sheltered trenches. The battery of Jafar 
became the pivot of the whole siege 
operations, which caused jealousy and 
heart-burning among the officers in charge 
of the other batteries. They complained 
of the partiality of the Prince for Jafar, 
and resented Jafar’s airs and brag. Two 
big guns, Top-i-Mariam and Qila-kusha, 
reached the camp on 6th August, and six 
days later came Fath-i-Mubarak (Fath-i- 
lashkar ?). But these guns were found 
worse than useless, as no iron-shells of 



the proportionate size and strength had 
been brought from Lahor. The Prince 
had listened to the suggestion of one of 
his favourites that it would be more 
economical and convenient to take stone¬ 
cutters with the army and have stone- 
balls of hard granite prepared there from 
the inexhaustible quarries of Qandahar. 
But the wicked darogha of stone-cutters 
made balls of soft stone with the result 
that when these were fired from the Qila- 
kusha, they burst in the air injuring the 
gunners themselves. Stone-balls were 
now wrapped with san (hemp-twine) to 
prevent their bursting to a certain extent. 
Some of the Feringhee gunners deserted to 
the Persians, and others proved hardly 
more efficient than the Hindustanis. 
Though 27,000 rounds of ammunition are 
said to have been fired, no practicable 
breach was made, nor could they silence 
the Persian artillery. 

The besiegers worked hard to drain 
off the ditch by blowing away the dams. 
One spring was emptied on 13th July, 
but three days later it was reported by 



[CH. IV. 

Qasim Khan and Abdullah that the water 
in front of their position which had fallen 
to knee-deep was now neck-high. Even 
when they at length succeeded in empty¬ 
ing the ditch, it was very difficult to keep 
it dry, as water began to flow in through 
mysterious channels near the edge of the 
Sher Haji. However, the ditch was filled 
up in front of Jafar’s battery by throwing 
into it logs of wood and bags of earth. 
At any rate, it ceased to be an obstacle 
to the storming party. But the Persian 
fire, particularly their musketry, was so 
galling and accurate that the Hindustanis 
dared not come out of their raised 
batteries ( damdamah ), and sand-bag 

Jafar constructed a magnificent 
structure, 75 yards in length, 55 yards in 
breadth and 27 yards in height, and 
mounted ten small guns upon it. He 
made a huge damdamah (covered plat¬ 
form) in which 20 men could stand erect 
at ease to carry on the work of mining. 
According to the official report, about 
300 yards of the rampart, and the wall of 



the Sher Haji were battered down by the 
artillery of the Prince, Jafar and Izzat 
Khan (the latter commanded a battery 
against the Sher Haji), claimed to have 
made practicable breaches in their front. 
The Prince, who would believe his own 
favourites against the rest of the world, 
accepted their version without any 
personal inquiry or a visit to these 
reported breaches. It was rather risky 
on the part of any officer to contradict 
the Prince on this point, because it would 
be set down to the cowardice or dis¬ 
loyalty of the speaker. 

Section 8.—Preparations for assault 

On August 21, Dara made a distribu¬ 
tion of armour and cuirasses and desig¬ 
nated officers to different batteries in con¬ 
templation of a general assault two days 
afterwards. It was notified by beat of 
drum, says the author of Lataif-ul-akhbar, 
that on the day of assault, those who 
were not sepoys and did not possess the 
necessary courage to go to the attack, 
should be ready to offer prayers (ba- 



[CH. IV. 

saadat-i-bandagi ); a price of Rs. 5 was 
put on every head of a Qizilbash; and one 
ashrafi for every Persian prisoner 
brought in alive. 1 The Prince having 
thus decided his own line of action with¬ 
out even consulting the senior nobles, 
called together his chiefs next day to 
sound their opinion; but it only served to 
irritate and insult them further. ..All 
came except Qilich Khan, who sent word 
that he would come in the afternoon as 
he had taken a purgative ( julab ). Dara, 
turning towards Mahabat Khan, 2 said, 

1 Latmj 121b—122a. 

2 Mahabat Khan, Mirza Lohrasp, son of the notorious 
Mahabat Khan who made a captive of Jahangir (M. U. Hi. 
590-595). Manucci says “It happened that Mahabat Khan’s 
soldiers killed one of Dara’s men. Falling into a rage, and 
without inquiry into the matter, he ordered his troops to be 

collected with orders to drag Mahabat Khan before him. 

Shah Jahan ordered a severe reproof to be administered to 

Dara.After this incident Mahabat Khan bore a 

grudge against him.** ( Storia , i. 225). Whether the above 
incident, for which Manucci is the only authority—took place 
before the Qandahar campaign or after it, is not known. Dara 
who listened to backbiters, had differences with Mahabat 
Khan from the very start of the siege; the trouble being due 
to the knavery and ifhpudence of Dara’s own servants. When 
the author of Latmf-ul-akhbar went to explain the difficulties of 
pushing the trench to Dara*s secretary Faqir Khan, the latter 

dara’s council of war 


“Breaches have been opened opposite the 
batteries of Izzat Khan and Jafar. What 
do you advise about an assault?” 
Mahabat replied “We are servants; we 
have nothing else to do except carrying 
out your orders. Kings only can advise 
a king.” Dara attempted flattery, but 
ended with harsh words of threat; “Why 
do you not speak plainly” said the 
Prince, “that attack is advisable, and 
that fighting shoulder to shoulder with 
others you will carry it by storm? Your 
father conquered the famous fort of 

Daulatabad.You seem to think of 

returning home without capturing 
Qandahar. Better banish such a vain 
and mischievous idea from your mind.” 
Next, he asked Nejabat Khan, 1 a 5-hazari 

uttered some disrespectful words to the Khan (May 11, 1653; 
Lataif 24 a). This Mahabat Khan was the man who had the 
hardihood to tell Aurangzib to his very face in an assembly 
that no soldier was required to fight with Shiva “The Qarf 
(Abdul Wahab) will put Shiva down*’. ( M . U. iii, 594). 

1 Nejabat Khan, Mirza Shuja {M, U, iii, 82t~828). 
Previous to the Qandahar campaign, Nejabat, while faujdar of 
Saharanpur, was tempted by the report of gold mines to 
make a raid into the country of the Nakrk^ti Rani who ruled 
in Srinagar in the Kumaon Hills. He managed to escape with 



[CH. IV. 

to give his opinion on the feasibility of 
an assault. Nejabat submitted that it 
would be better if for three or four days 
more the guns were kept employed in 
levelling down the rampart. Dara 
silenced him by saying, “You seem to 
insinuate that no breaches have been 

effected.No matter whether there 

is a breach or not, an assault must be 
delivered.” Then he turned to Mirza 
Rajah Jai Singh Kachchwah and said 
abruptly, “Rajah Jiu, your exertions in 
the Emperor’s business have fallen short 
of expectation from the very start (of the 
siege). 1 No plea will be heard now. 

his nose, leaving honour and gold behind (ibid 822). The 
attitude of Nejabat was very objectionable from the beginning. 
He refused to take up his position before the Ab-dozd-gate, and 
on being asked to go to Bust with Rustam Khan, he at first 
declined and was afterwards persuaded by his colleagues to do 
so. (Lataif, 19a, 24a, 25a). He, however, regained the 

Prince's favour for a while, and was recalled to Qandahar. 

1 Alluding to the Rajah's plea of inability to push forward 
his trench more quickly. The Rajah turned away the Prince's 
man saying, “We Rajputs are not very clever in digging 
trenches and in siege-work. Better let the Prince hand over 
this battery to whomsoever he pleases.” (May 28, 1653; 

bataif 35a). On 15th Ramzan (30th July) Jai Singh was sent 
for by Dara, who made a very earnest request to him to make 



If your objection is that no breach has 
been made in front of your battery, I 
give you Jafar’s.” The Rajah, declining 
the offer, said, “By the time Jafar and 
Izzat Khan will get into the fort through 
the breaches (made by them), I shall be 
able to do the same by fixing scaling- 
ladders to the wall.” Dara enquired, “If 
so, on what date do you agree to deliver 

an assault, holding out many bright promises. But the Rajah 
kept a very sullen attitude without speaking a word in reply 
for a considerable time. At last he came away giving the 
Prince a cold and evasive reply ( Lataif , 94b, 95a). Vide my 
paper at the Ninth Meeting, Indian Historical Records Com¬ 
mission, Lucknow. 

For a biographical sketch of Jai Singh—meagre and un¬ 
satisfactory—see M. U. iii. 568-576. Letters have of late 
come to light in the Jaipur Archives, showing that Dara was 
on very intimate terms with the Rajah. The coolness between 
the two during the Qandahar campaign cannot be explained 
in any other way except by the fact that the Rajah resented 
Dara’s partiality for Jafar and others, and became disgusted 
with the childish follies and unrestrained speeches of Dara. 
Manucci says that Dara once insulted Jai Singh by humor¬ 
ously remarking that the Rajah looked like a musician ( Storia , 
i, 225). At Qandahar too Dara (lung a similar taunt at the 
Rajah : "This is the third time that you have come to Qandahar. 

If you fail this time will you show your 

face to the women of Hindustan? In truth women are better 
than the men who have returned again and again from this 
place.” ( Lataif , 20a, see also 84b). 




the attack?” The other replied “I have 
nothing to do with agreements and 
assurances; I have simply to obey your 
command.” The Prince cried out in a 
passion, “What words are these? You 
must say plainly whether an assault is 
advisable or not. If you mean to keep 
yourself aloof from the affair, give it to 
me in writing, so that I may either order 
a retreat to Hindustan or recall Rustam 
Khan Bahadur and make an attack with 
his advice.” The Rajah replied, “I am 
prepared to give it in writing that I am 
always in favour of an attack, and also- 
ever ready to deliver it.” Dara retorted, 
“Your heart and tongue do not seem to 
agree. What is in your heart, your 
tongue does not give out, and whatever 
your tongue utters finds no echo in your 
heart. If they are in unison, why do you 
not say straightway that you consider an 
assault to be advisable and that by a con¬ 
certed effort you will capture the fort?” 
He continued “Perhaps it has occurred 
to you that I shall return without con¬ 
quering Qandahar. If I do so, how can 



I show my face to the Padshah?” The 
Rajah rejoined, “Your Highness is the 
very light of the Emperor’s eyes. When¬ 
ever His Majesty’s glance will light upon 
your Highness’s world-illuminating 
countenance, it will be quite welcome. 
But how shall we humble servants show 
our faces?” The Prince ironically re¬ 
marked, “You have twice shown this very 
face to His Majesty; the difficulty is 
rather with me, for whom this will be the 
first occasion for doing it.” More un¬ 
pleasant words followed, the Prince, being 
highly disgusted with these fearless 
rejoinders on equal terms, cut short the 
unhappy altercation with the words, 
“Whether you agree to the proposal of 
assault or not, 1 do command you to 
make an assault , no matter whether you 
die or conquer the fort . . . .” He then 
solemnly recited the Fatiha and gave the 
above-mentioned nobles leave to depart. 

Dara not only embittered the feelings 
of the three most powerful nobles of the 
Empire, but also unknowingly sowed the 
seed of mutual jealousy between his two- 


confidants by his tactless praise of Jafar 
in the presence of Izzat Khan. “Had 
there been two more men like thee,” said 
the Prince in appreciation of Jafar’s 
optimism and flattering vaunt, “by this 
time the affair of this fort would have 
been decided”. Jafar, Izzat Khan and 
Rajah Rajrup were the three persons who 
gave their opinion in favour of an assault. 
Qilich Khan came in the afternoon; but 
even before being asked to take his seat, 
he was told by the Prince that an assault 
had been decided upon, and that the 
Khan might go after the Fatilm had been 

On Augu st2& /Tuesday. 4t^ Shawwat\ 
tfflT~troops, kept under arms all night, 
were inspected by the Prince in their 
respective posts. When about 3 gharis 
of the night remained, the storming 
parties rushed for their objectives at 
the signal of the Prince. Like Xerxes 
witnessing the battle of Salamis from his 
golden throne, Dara watched the fate of 
his troops from the shelter of a house on 
the top of the well-known hill, Chehel- 



dokhtaran. (Eminence of the Forty 
daughters). 1 What followed next has been 
very graphically described by the author 
of Lataif-ul-akKba/r, who at the command 
of Mahabat Khan took his stand on a 
height near his battery and reported the 
progress of the attack to the Khan seated 
securely within the damdamah (raised 

Section 9.—Assault delivered 
We begin with the battery of Izzat 
Khan. Jahangir Beg with two war- 
elephants and 1000 mail-clad horsemen 
rushed for the breach which seemed 
almost deserted. The Persians with great 
coolness reserved their fire till the Mughals 
were well within the range of arrow and 
bullet. A tremendous volley of artillery 
and musket fired at point blank range put 
the Mughal elephants and horsemen to 

i On 10th Ramzan, 25th July the Prince ordered Chandra 
Bhan his Bayyutat (superintendent of household store® and 
workshops) to select a site, from which he might witness the 
deeds of valour of his troops on the day of assault. Chandra 
Bhan having chosen a house in the declivity of a hill, known 
as Chehel-dokhtaran, the Prince visited the place. (Lataif, 89a). 



[CH. IV. 

flight. Izzat Khan, so the envious camp 
gossip went, was busy sprinkling his 
body with rose-water ( jama-ra wa kardah 
guldb bar khud me-bashid), when the 
signal for the assault was given. He 
followed the advance-party of Jahangir 
Beg with a body of troops, but returned 
to his own trench without making any 
effort to rally his men and renew the 
attack. 1 Mahabat Khan was all the while 
sitting inside his trench listening to the 
reports of the author of Lataif-ul-akhbar. 
One shell accidentally burst near him and 
killed a soldier who was sitting just 
opposite; but the Khan escaped un¬ 
harmed. He returned to his own position 
in the rear when Izzat Khan turned his 
back upon the enemy. 

Qilich from the right, and Mirza 
Abdullah and Qasim Khan from the left 
of Jafar’s battery, made for the breach 
with great courage and coolness; but 

1 The allegation may be true. Waris simply states, 
"Men who had advanced from the direction of the battery 

of Iceat Khan.became exposed to fire from three 

aides." {Waris, 78b). 



Jafar, as the ungenerous rumour in the 
camp went—was calmly eating his bread 
with onions and enjoying a dessert of 
water-melon (nan o piyaz o hinduana me- 
khurd)} However, the fight was very 
obstinate at this point. In the face of a 
terrible fire 1 2 and determined resistance, 
the Mughals struggled hard but had to 
withdraw after suffering a casualty of 557 
dead, besides numerous wounded. Nejabat 
Khan and Rajah Mukund Singh Hada, 
who had been ordered to the battery of 
Jafar, are said to have remained inactive 
during the attack. Nejabat Khan had 
'some grievances against Dara, but we do 
not know why the famous Hada chief who 
afterwards laid down his life for Dara at 
Samugarh, acted so feebly on this occasion. 
It is said that Nejabat Khan asked the 
Hada chief why he was not sending his 
men to the attack; the latter replied, 
“These men who are with me are not ordi- 

1 Lataif, 134a. “Jafar from his battery urged his men 
forward to the attack/* (Waris, 78b). 

2 The Persians used flaming “sheets (chador), steeped in 
maphthar (Waris, 78b). 



ICH. IV.. 

nary mercenaries but my own brethren 
and kinsmen; I cannot send them where 
I myself will not go.” The Khan retorted, 
“There ought not to be any consideration 
for brother or son in the Emperor’s busi¬ 
ness.” Stung to the quick, the fiery Hada 
rose up, and taking Muhammad Quli, the 
eldest son of Nejabat Khan by the hand, 
proceeded towards the rampart. When the 
Khan found out that the Rajah was in no 
mood for jest, he in fear of his son’s life, 
ran barefooted to turn them back! Rajah 
Jai Singh, highly incensed against Dara, 
made no effort worthy of mention. Only 
two men from his trench came out with 
scaling-ladders; but they were im¬ 
mediately brought down by the Persian, 
bullets, and the business ended there in 
this section of the assault. 

On the western face four detach¬ 
ments under the command of Sayyid 
Mahmud Barha, Lashkar Khan, Muham¬ 
mad Aqil, and Mirak Ataullah (Bakhshi 
of the Ahadis), attempted to carry 
the Qaitul ridge and the Lakah re¬ 
doubt by surprise. Sayyid Mahmud 



with a good number of Sayyids died 
in a rash advance against the tremend¬ 
ous cross-fire of the enemy. Lashkar 
Khan with one thousand Baksariya (men 
of Buxar) inatch-lockmen, and accom¬ 
panied by some notable chiefs, such as 
Bad an Singh Bhadauriya and Champat 
Rai Bundela,'silently climbed to the foot 
of the. rampart of the Lakah redoubt, and 
was about to get to the top by means of 
scaling-ladders. But unfortunately the 
Persians detected the movement and over¬ 
whelmed the assailants with stones, kill¬ 
ing 30 men outright. Muhammad Aqil 
worsted a party of Persians in a* hand to 
hand fight; but a chance bullet killed his 
ally Ataullah, whereupon the Ahadis re¬ 
treated hurriedly; Aqil and Devi Singh 
Bundela, being thus left without succour, 
could not maintain their position, and had 
to retire with heavy loss. 

The tumult continued for four hours 
till one ptahar of the next day. About one 
thousand men w’ere killed, and about the 
same number wounded. As soon as Dara 
returned to his tent, the music of victory 



[CH. IV. 

began to play within the fort. The 
Persians brought dancing-girls to spots 
within sight of the Mughal batteries, 
made them dance to amuse their enemies, 
and enjoyed the day to their heart’s con¬ 
tent, making merry faces at the Hindu¬ 
stanis. Next day the Persian commander 
allowed the Musalmans in the Mughal 
army to carry away and bury the dead 
bodies of the Musalmans only, while he 
gathered together 500 heads of the Hindus, 
leaving their headless trunks to the birds 
of prey. 1 

1 For references:— Lataif , 112 a —133b; Waris 77b. Both 
authorities agree about the date (9th Shawwai, 1063), objectives 
and details of attack. Waris says that each of the big guns 
fired 100 rounds during the night of assault about which Lataif - 
uLakftbar is silent; again, Waris puts the number of casualties 
at 1000, but the latter says that on the western front alone, the 
figure amounted to that number in wounded and slain (the exact 
number of the dead not being ascertained), exclusive of 557 
dead in the eastern batteries. Waris is very discreet and gives 
substantially correct details of the assault, without any reflection 
on the scandalous conduct of the great nobles. He says that 
the Ahadis, even after the death of their captain, fought 
valiantly but others fled down the ridge at the sight of the 
carnage in the ranks of the Ahadis. 


Section 10.—Last phase of the siege 

Mutual recriminations followed the 
failure of this attack; the other im¬ 
perialists taunting Jafar and Izzat Khan 
with cowardice, and the latter accusing 
Mahabat Khan and Rajah Jai Singh of 
neglect of duty. But whatever the people 
might say in private, no one could have 
the hardihood to tell Dara that Jafar had 
done nothing during the attack (Hichra 
qudrat-i-an nist ke be-goyaid ke Jafar 
kar-e na-kard; Lataif, 128b). 

Dara, who had been much cast down, 
was thus consoled by Jafar: “Why should 
your Highness grieve at the loss of soldiers 
who are entertained in service with the 
very purpose of being sacrificed in action ? 
As regards the assault, your Highness 
may be pleased to enquire that Shah 
Abbas (the Second) captured the fort after 
more than one assault.” He sent away 
Mahabat Khan to Bust under the osten¬ 
sible plea of reinforcing the troops of 
Rustam Khan (25th August), and Rajah 



[CH. IV. 

Jai Singh 1 to the Shutar-gardan pass to 
keep watch for the rumoured approach of 
a Persian army (30th August). Qilich 
Khan was the only 5-hazari who, in spite 
of his ill-feeling towards the favourites of 
Dara, had behaved most loyally on the 
day of assault. Dara now made an 
earnest appeal to the Khan to save 
him from the ignominy of failure: 
He offered him absolute command over 

1 Feelings between Jai Singh and Dara continued to be 
bitter till the end of the campaign. “On 25th Shawwal 
(Sept. 8, 1653) Dara sent Shaham Quli to the Rajah with 
the following message. “1 hear you are oppressing the 
people and cutting trees from their gardens. Had you dis¬ 
played such destructive energy beneath the walls of Qandahar, 
you could have by this time probably captured this fort by 

pulling down all its wails.” The Rajah replied. 

“Fortunately within two or three kos of my encampment 
there are no gardens from which my men are likely to gather 
fuel by cutting down trees.” The messenger of Dara also 
reported that in the neighbourhood of the Rajah's camp no 
garden could be seen, and that the person who gave such 
an information must have told a lie. (Lataif, 146a). Again, 
on 1st Zilqada (September 13, 1653) the Rajah in reply to 
Dara's letter asking him to be present at Qandahar on the 
4th of that month for making another attack, sent word to 
the Prince, “The assault cannot be made by me. Your 
Royal Highness may inflict any punishment for this fault of 
mine. I have no more business with Qandahar.“ (Ibid, 151b). 


all the batteries and promised him 
the rank of a haft-hazari (7000 zat, 
7000 horse, do-aspah, seh-aspah) with the 
title of Khan-i-Khanan. Qilich Khan, a 
wary old soldier, nibbling at the bait, said 
“The siege is drawing to a close; to ask 
me to take charge of the work at this stage 
is to give the tail of the fish into my hand 
(dum-i-mahi ba-dast-i-man dadanast).” 
He, however, pledged his word to do his 
utmost and accepted the task of directing 
the siege. Dara was so much overjoyed 
that he embraced the Khan and gave him 
a kiss on the neck at the time of his de¬ 
parture ( Lataif , 135b). A few days after¬ 
wards Qilich Khan 1 advised Dara to recall 
the troops of Rustam Khan Bahadur for 
delivering another assault. The siege 
dragged on for a month more, which was 
characterized by feverish activity and a 
desperate effort to mine and bombard the 

1 Qilich Khan Turani (M.U. iii, 92). He was an 
honest blunt soldier who had spent a considerable portion 
of his life in fighting with the Persians in Qandahar. 
Alternate coaxing and neglect marked the behaviour of Dara 
to this veteran soldier. 


ramparts and the fortifications of the Sher 

Section II.—Causes of Dara’s failure 

The superiority of the means of 
defence over those of attack in siege-war¬ 
fare in the seventeenth century, united 
with the fervent patriotism and invincible 
pride of Persia, rolled back the onset of 
the aggressive Mughal Imperialism. The 
army of the Great Mughals had always 
been an unwieldy mass of irregulars, 
stiffened by native and foreign mercen¬ 
aries representing a dozen nationalities. 
Within India the Mughal army owed its 
splendid success not so much to its 
military efficiency as to other factors, such 
as the solidarity and common patriotism 
of Islam against the non-Muslims, the 
caste dissensions and hereditary clan- 
feuds of the Hindus, and the proverbial 
indifference of the Indian people to politi¬ 
cal issues and the fate of their rulers. But 
against Persia the Emperor of Delhi could 
make no such appeal in the name of reli¬ 
gion or of country to the Muslim section 



of his army, which was mostly reinforced 
by the brain and arm of Persian emigrants 
to Hindustan; while the Kachchwah and 
the Rathor had not half as much zest in 
a fight with the Safavis as against the 
Sisodias. Mutual jealousy among contin¬ 
gents of mansabdars and tribal units, and 
absence of discipline and drill prevented 
the growth of any esprit de corps in the 
army and made co-operation impossible 
except under the vigilant eyes of a master¬ 
ful personality. Envy and a passion for 
individual distinction, as opposed to com¬ 
radeship and devotion to a common cause, 
were undoubtedly the driving forces in a 
Mughal army—a fact borne out by the 
whole military history of the Mughal 
Empire. Even an Aurangzib was helpless 
against these inherent defects of the 
Mughal army. 

However, no one can overlook some 
grave defects of Dara’s character which 
were responsible not only for his'ill-success 
at Qandahar but also for the tragic failure 
of his whole political career. He identi¬ 
fied himself with a party, with men of his 



[CH. IV. 

own contingent, and gave his confidence 
blindly to a few upstarts without ex¬ 
perience but with a good deal of knavery 
and presumption. This widened the 
breach between him and the high nobles 
who suspected that the Crown Prince was 
not disposed to grant equal opportunities 
to all to distinguish themselves. The 
result was that they desired not so much 
the capture of Qandahar as the humilia¬ 
tion of the favourites of Dara. He lacked 
the force of character and tact necessary 
for holding together the mutually repel¬ 
lent elements of his army. Disobedience 
and defiance 1 characterized the conduct 
not only of the 5-hazaris but also of per¬ 
sons of lesser note. Not only was there a 

1 To quote only a few instances :— 

(1) Muhammad Aqil comes away from Jafar's battery, 

demands an independent charge, and secures it 
(25th May; Laicif, 31 b). 

(2) Nusrat Khan refuses to serve in Jafar's trench and 

threatens to resign (15th August; ibid, 114b). 

(3) Shams Khan and Qutb Khan reject the Prince's offer 

of pardon and refuse to return to their posts saying 
that they had lost their izzat by being associated 
with Izzat Khan (26th August, ibid, 136 a). 


feeling of bitterness and jealousy between 
the imperial auxiliaries and the Prince’s 
contingent, but his favourites also played 
a selfish game with the inevitable issue. 
Three trusted officers of Dara, viz., 
Abdullah, Jafar and Izzat Khan, quar¬ 
relled among themselves and intrigued 
to discredit each other in a most silly 
manner. Jafar, chief of the Prince’s 
artillery, was the hero of the siege. He 
enjoyed the unbounded confidence of the 
Prince, to whom he was as it were, “a 
blind man’s stick.” It is said that Zulfi- 
qar Khan once signified his intention to 
surrender on the promise and assurance 
of Rajah Jai Singh, Mahabat and Qilich 
Khan, whereupon Dara in disgust said 
“If he is willing to come, he may do so 
on the pledge of Jafar and Izzat Khan; 
for their word is equivalent to mine” 
(qaul-i-an-ha qaul-i-ma ast)} But these 
two would often fall out in the very 
presence of the Prince and sometimes 
backbite each other. Izzat Khan, irri- 

i Lataif , 98 b. 



[CH. IV.. 

tated by Jafar’s brag, called him a Paji 
(rascal), and told the Prince bluntly, 
“Favour and confidence shown by you to 
such rascals ( pajiha ), will not be of any 
avail.” 1 On 15th June Abdullah sent a 
request to Jafar (whose battery was con¬ 
tiguous to his own) asking the latter to 
postpone advancing his trench-head till 
he should have come into line with 
Jafar’s. Four days afterwards Abdullah 
went to salute the Prince, and told him in 
reply to a question that his trench was a 
few steps (qadam) ahead of Jafar’s. Thte 
having reached the ears of Jafar, he flared 
up and fell foul of the whole race of Iranis 
and their vile Shia heresies. Even Dara’s 
kind words to soothe his resentment were 
of no avail. After three days Qazi Afzal 
succeeded in bringing about a reconcilia¬ 
tion between the two. But Mirza 
Abdullah’s men 2 were suspected of carry¬ 
ing on a treasonable correspondence with 
the enemy. 

1 Lataif , 62o. 

2 Abdullah’s trick, Laiaif, 466; Qazi’8 reconciliation, ibid. m 
50 a j Abdullah's men warned, 64 a. 



Section 12.—Abandonment of the siege 

There is a tiresome monotony about 
the Mughal expeditions to Qandahar, 
because the same plan, the same proce¬ 
dure, and the same inevitable result 
characterize all the three. The Persians 
compared the Hindustanis to summer- 
birds who would depart for the warmer 
plains at the advent of the Afghan winter. 
But Dara resolved upon continuing the 
siege during the cold season, and even 
issued orders to the army to procure 
supplies. There was, however, little 
chance of his being able to starve the 
garrison into surrender; because the 
blockade was ineffectual and food was 
smuggled into the fort by the Afghans 
and sometimes by the very grocers 
(baqqals) of Dara’s camp. The situation 
was made critical by the rebellious 
attitude of the frontier Afghan tribes who 
threatened to cut off the communi¬ 
cations of the expeditionary force with 
Lahor and Multan. They plundered a 
Gurzbardar (mace-bearer) of the Court at 



[Ch. IV. 

Doki as early as the last week of July, 
and made booty of the imperial rescript 
(, farman ), horses, robe of honour, and the 
scent-bottle ( huqqah-i-itri), meant for the 
Prince ( Lataif , 886; 25th July, 1653). 
The Indian troops became thoroughly 
demoralized, and began to dream dreams 
of divine intervention against them. A 
man saw in a dream 1000 strange cavaliers 
marching calmly through the Mughal 
ranks into the fort ; these were interpreted 
to be the warriors of Imam Raza coming 
to the aid of the Shia Persians against 
the Sunnis of Hindustan. Even the 
prophet appeared in a dream to a Sayyid 
of pure lineage in the Prince’s camp, and 
predicted that victory was not to be gained 
this year and that it was useless to 
multiply the slaughter of Musalmans 
(Lataif ; 61a, 626, 1446). 

Rustam Khan Bahadur Firuz Jang 
returned to Qandahar on 27 th September, 
after having dismantled the fort of Bust, 
but the Prince, in obedience to an order 
from the Emperor, had to drop the plans 
of making another assault upon Qandahar 



and of continuing the siege during the 
coming winter. Next day the Prince 
started on his homeward journey at an 
auspicious moment. Izzat Khan with the 
top-khana and the Kabul contingent took 
the road to Ghazni, while the main army 
under the Prince travelled by way of 
Pishin and Doki to Multan. Dara reached 
Pishin on 5th October and ordered the 
destruction of the fort there. The army 
had to fight its way through the tribal 
territory, as the Afghans blocked the 
roads and demanded their customary 
subsidy. Rajah Jai Singh worsted a 
large body of Afghans near Doki. The 
Prince encamped at Doki on 13th October, 
and thence in nine days reached Multan. 
After a halt of 11 days here he 
entered Lahor on 22nd November (11th 
Muharram, 1064). 1 

1 The author of Lataif-ul-alfhbar says that on 13th Zilqada 
(25th September) Dara wrote a letter to Rustam Khan Bahadur 
to rejoin the main camp positively on the 14th; but the Khan 
reached the camp on 15th Zilqada (27th September). The 
Prince started on his homeward journey when 7 gharis of the 
night of Thursday 16th Zilqada yet remained (26th September). 
But according to Waris, Rustam Khan Bahadur came to 



[CH. IV. 

A grand public reception was accorded 
to the Crown Prince and his suite at the 
newly-built city of Shahjahanabad-Delhi 
on 26th December, 1653. Dara and Shah 
Jahan had reached Delhi—from Lahor 
and Agra respectively,—on the previous 
evening (14th Safar, 1064 A.H. ; Waris 
82a). The Emperor ordered him to en¬ 
camp for the night outside the city, and 
next morning sent the nobles in attend¬ 
ance at Court to go out and conduct the 
Prince in all honour worthy of his rank, 
to the Diwan-i-Am. 1 Dara with his son 
Sulaiman Shukoh entered the darbar and 
offered a nazar of 1000 ashrafis. His 
Majesty in his boundless favour and 

Qandahar on 14th Zalqada (26th September), and the 
march began next day (see Lataif t 168a- 170b; Waris MS. 79a). 
Other incidents during the retreat : destruction of the fort of 
Pishin, Lataif, 172b; a war-elephant runs mad; Rajah Satarsal 
Hada refuses to kill it at the Prince’s command; Satarsal’s 
encounter with the hostile Afghan tribesmen (ibid, 173b, 174a); 
Afghans plunder the men of Pahar Singh Bundela and are 
taught a severe lesson by Rajah Jai Singh (ibid, 175a); a brief 
narrative of the journey from Qandahar to Lahor (Waris MS. 


1 On this occasion Dara was given a rich febi/of with a 
nim-astin, and two Iraqi horses from the royal stable. 



•exuberance of affection embraced him and 
gave him a kiss [ibid, 82&]. The Prince 
forgot his worries and disappointments in 
the undiminished favour and affection of 
his doting father, and calmly settled down 
to his studies. Dara was left to himself 
and his Muses till the trumpet of the 
civil war summoned him to arms . 

Section 13.—The sequel of the Qandahar Campaign 

It is interesting to note that none of 
the 5-hazaris came in the train of the 
Crown Prince to share the honour of the 
public reception on 26th December (1653). 
Things turned out exactly as Mirza Rajah 
Jai Singh had predicted ; the Emperor’s 
•eyes dilated at the sight of th© 
Prince, and in spite of the ignominy of 
their failure* the favourites of Dara gained 
applause and substantial favours. On the 
next solar birthday of the Emperor (6th 
January, 1654), at the recommendation of 
Dara, Jafar who had been “most active in 
advancing the trenches”, was honoured 
"with the title of Barqandaz Khan. 



[Ch. IV. 

Another favourite of Dara, Faqir Khan 1 
(son of Baqar Khan Najum sani), who 
had been dismissed and forbidden the 
Court, was, at the solicitation of Dara, 
reinstated in his rank of 2000 zat, 1000 
sawar. Mahabat Khan, who had his first 
audience of the Emperor after his return* 
Sfrom ‘Qandahar on this day, did not even 
get a khtmt. Nejabat Khan’s lot seems to 
have betaa no better; he having been 
given leave without any khilat to depart 
for his jagir on 14th January, 1654, 
(Waris, 83&). Qilich Khan, who had been 
promised the rank of a 7-hazari and the 
title of Khan-i-Khanan, lost the favour of 
the Prince for saying that the breach 

C ade by Jafar was impracticable (25th 
igl'embqr^ Lataif 166a). He died at 
Bh6rk (in the Panjab) on 24th January, 

y - —«-* — V* * *v —sh---—*-*- 

1 Faqir Khan perhaps acted as secretary to Dara and Was 
flltc of his confidants. He writes a letter by order to Mahabat 
Khan to advance his trench. The author of Lataif-ul-akhbar 
goes to Faqir Khan to explain the situation on behalf of 
Mfthahat Khan; Faqir Kh«%, deaf to reason, makes soma, 
offensive remarks in reply filth May, Lataif, 24a). This is 
enough to ilkatrate character of Faqir Khan; no wonder 
that be uroxwd his way into Dara** favour, 


1654 (Waris, 836). On the lunar birthday 
(9th February), Kunwar Ram Singh, son 
of Rajah Jai Singh, was given an addition 
of, 500 zat to his mansab, and the Rajah 
was given a choice khilat and leave for 
home. But this was no recognition of the 
services and ability of that old veteran in 
comparison with that of his younger and 
much less capable Rathor rival, Jaswant 
Singfh, who had been created a 6-hazari 
with the title of Maharajah, a month 
before (6th January) in the solar birthday 
gazette of the Emperor. Rajah Mukund 
Singh Hada was conciliated with a pro¬ 
motion o| 500 zat. No reward or mention 
of Rfcjrup and Champat Rai Bundela is 
found in the birthday gazettes of 1654. 
Rustam Khan Bahadur ^iruz Jang 
received on the lunar birthday (9th 
February), a princely regard of 4 
elephants^ 1 female elephant and 10 Iraqi 
horses (846). . \ 

The two birthday lists of honours 
corroborate the authenticity of the account 
of Lataif-ubakKbar as regards the conduct 
of the 5-hazaris, and para’s relations with 
them during the third siege of Qandahar. 




Section I.—Dara Shukoh and the Qadiriya Order 


Within a year of Dara’s marriage, 
Nadira Begam bore him a daughter who 
died on the day of the Id-ul-fitr (21st 
March 1634), during his journey in the 
Emperor’s train to the city of Lahor. He 
reeled under the shock of this first sorrow, 
and it was very probably that at this 
psychological moment the bereaved young 
couple sought spiritual consolation at the 
feet of the renowned mystic Mian Mir of 
Lahor, a Sufi of the Qadiriya Order, 
founded by the blessed saint Abdul Qadir 
Gilani (1077-1166 A.D.). 

The great Emperor Shah Jahan 
honoured only two Muslim saints 
with his personal visit; one was Shaikh 
Muhammad Fazlullah of Burhanpur 
(whom he visited while Viceroy of the 
Deccan during the lifetime of the 
Emperor Jahangir), and the other was 



Mian Mir, to whom he paid three visits 
in the course of the year 1634 A.D. His 
first visit to the saint’s cell was on April 7, 
1634 and the next, two days after. On 
his return from Kashmir Shah Jahan 
again saw the Shaikh (December 18,1634), 
and held with him “some discussions on 
theology and intricate points of spiritual 
sciences which were the source of joy and 
cheerfulness to that recluse.” 1 It was 
most likely during the winter of 1635, 
when the Court was at Lahor, that Dara 
Shukoh received from Mian Mir a healthy 
stimulus to his spiritual life, and what 
was more valuable, picked up an 
acquaintance with his future Pir, Mulla 
Shah Badakhshi a disciple of the Shaikh. 
That very year the venerable saint Mian 
Mir passed away without having had time 
to make him a disciple. For six years 

1 Padshahnctma , i.B. 65. Biographical notices of Mian 
Mir and Mulla Shah Badakhshi, Pad. I.B. 329-330 ; 335, Khali 
Khan on the conduct of Mian Mir, and the Emperor’s 
appreciation of his indifference to the royal guest, Muntakbab, 
M. 546-49, Reference in Dabistan to Mian Mir and to 
Maulana Shah, who was the Pir of the author of DabMan $ 
Shea, part III, pp. 284, 287 ; Pers. text, Bombay Litho, 
pp. 318, 319. 



[CH. V. 

after the death of Mian Mir, the princely 
aspirant to divine knowledge eagerly 
searched for a spiritual guide in every 
quarter and devoted himself to the study 
of the lives and miracles of saints. 

In his Risala-i-Haqnuma (written in 
1646 A.D.) Dara tells us that “in the 
prime of his youth” one night an angel 
(hatif) cried out to him four times in 
.dream, “God has bestowed upon thee what 
no king on earth did ever get.” This, 
dream was interpreted by the arifs ( i.e ., 
Agnostics) to mean that divine knowledge 
had been promised to him. “In time,” 
says the Prince, “the foreshadowing of it 
began to be manifest, and day by day the 
veil was lifted little by little.” It will not 
be far from the truth if we hold that this, 
divine inspiration came to Dara not 
'before his marriage, and not certainly 
immediately after it when youths have 
other dreams. Dara was possibly awaken¬ 
ed to a spiritual life by the mystic touch 
of Mian Mir after the death of his first 
child. As wish is father to thought, the 
aforesaid dream of Dara was perhaps a 

dara’s veneration for holy men . 101 

visualization of his own thought when his 
imagination became fired by the com¬ 
panionship of the mystics at Lahor 
during the winter of 1635 A.D. From 
that day, the Prince began to frequent the 
cells of saints and a mysterious pain made 
him feel ill at ease. 

The Court-historian Abdul Hamid, 
who is so silent on the literary and 
spiritual life of Dara Shukoh, gives us an 
interesting anecdote which throws some 
light on the superstitious reverence of the 
Prince for saints and his implicit faith in 
miracles. On one occasion when singers 
and jugglers were entertaining the royal 
assembly, Shaikh Nazir, who had been 
invited to Court on account of his fame in 
working miracles, suddenly fell into an 
ecstacy and called for a glass of water. 
The Shaikh drank a little and passed the 
glass on to others ; every one who tasted 
of it declared that it was pure honey! 

.Prince Dara Shukoh and Qazi 

Muhammad Islam (d. 1651 A.D.) sub¬ 
mitted to His Majesty that in Agra the 
Shaikh had in their presence once 

102 DARA SHUKOH ' ’[S& V. 

transformed a water-jug (kuza), and on 
another occasion a handkerchief into a 
pigeon; further they added that once the 
Shaikh had put into their closed palms 
a blade of glass, which came out in the 
shape of a worm ( Mrm). Rajah Vikram- 
jit, whose veracity is testified to by old 
Abdul Hamid, once told the Emperor that 
he was on one occasion watching Shaikh 
Nazir at prayer ; he saw that in the course 
of the prayer the black whiskers 
(mahasin) of the Shaikh turned white and 
that his head became separate from his 
body, and after a while they were joined 
together again. 1 

The piety of Dara took an intellectual 
turn at this early stage. He devoted his 
ample leisure to compiling a comprehen¬ 
sive work on the lives and miracles of 
the saints of Islam. He did it as an act 
of devotion, a substitute for the company 
of saints ; such studies further inflamed 
his imagination, and gave a decisively 
spiritual turn to his mind. 

1 Padshahnama of Abdul Hamid, LB. 33?. 

*ef'»M*tjL'ANA SHAH, HIS GUIDE 103 

After the death of Mian Mir, Dara 
did not again visit Lahor till November, 
12, 1638. He was shortly after appointed 
to command an expeditionary force 
against the Persians, and returned from 
it to Lahor on October 9, 1639. His first 
work, the Safinat-ul-awliya, was com¬ 
pleted there on January 11, 1640, during 
the short interval of repose, as he had to 
leave for Kashmir in the Emperor’s 1 train 
in the first week of February, 1640. Dara 
remained with the Emperor in Kashmir 
for about seven months (March 22, 1640 
—September 14, 1640), 2 and during this 
time, renewed his devotions to Maulana 
Shah Badakhshi, a disciple of Mian Mir. 
Though Dara Shukoh received instruction 
and inspiration from several saints, and 
addressed them in his letters as his Pir 
and Murshid , yet it was Maulana Shah 
who retained the allegiance of the Prince 

1 Shah Jahan arrives at Lahor on November 12, 1638, (15th 
Rajah, 1048 A.H.,— Pad . U 123); leaves for Kashmir, 25th 
Shawwal, 1049 A.D. (February 8, 1640) ibid*, p. 179; enters 
Srinagar, 9th Zilhijja (March 22, 1640) ibid., p. 191, 

2 Shah Jahan starts for Lahor, 7th Jamadi-us-sani, 1050 
A.H. (14th September, 1640); Pad. it. 208. 



[CH. V. 

to the last. After his initiation Dara 
Shukoh designated himself as Qadiri and 

Dara Shukoh was born a client of the 
great Khwajah Muin-ud-din Chishti, the 
patron saint of the house of Akbar,— 
which Emperor had lavished almost royal 
devotion to his shrine at Ajmir. His sister, 
Jahanara was a murida or disciple of this 
order and as an act of piety wrote 
a biography of the Khwajah, entitled 
Munis-ul-arwa (the Comforter of Souls). 
He himself seemed to have wavered long 
before leaving the fold of Muin-ud-din 
Chishti for that of Abdul Qadir Gilani. 
But the magnetic personality and piety of 
Mian Mir and the reputation of Maulana 
Shah drew the Prince to the Qadiriya 
fraternity. Besides, the lofty spirit 
of charity and philanthropy of Abdul 
Qadir Gilani, 1 —who was for closing the 
very gates of hell and opening those of 
paradise to the Kafirs no less than to the 
Faithful,—could not but appeal to the 

1 See Ency. of hlarn, i. 42. 


imagination of the great-grandson of 
Akbar. When he became thoroughly 
acquainted with the practices of the 
Qadiriya order, he wrote his second book 
the Sakinat-ul-awliya (completed in 
1642 A.D.), which is mainly a biography of 
Mian Mir, with incidental notices of the 
various stages of the mystic journey of the 
Sufi towards his goal. 

Heaven seemed to have approved of 
Dara’s choice of the Qadiriya discipline. 
In the night of Friday, 17th Rajab, 1055 
A.H. a voice from Heaven (nada) conveyed 
to him a message that the Qadiriya dis¬ 
cipline was the best path for reaching 
Hod. That night he also received a divine 
injunction to write a tract for the use of 
the Sufi neophytes. He promptly obeyed 
the call and in a year wrote a pamphlet, 
Risala-uHaqnuma, containing the gist of 
the Sufi-istic practices and the different 
stages of spiritual illumination. He 
claims to speak, like Abdul Qadir Gilani, 
the founder of the sect, only under divine 
command ; and protests that this pam¬ 
phlet is to be taken verily as a revelation 

106 DARA SHUKOH [Ch. V. 

from the Qadir (the Almighty), and not 
as the sectarian work of a Qadiri (Hast 
az Qadir madan az Qadiri)} 

The above-mentioned books of Dara 
Shukoh written between 1639 and 1646 
A.D. cover an important stage in the 
growth of his spiritual life. We propose 
to review his religious outlook, the 
methods and fruits of his spiritual con¬ 
templation, and his conception of God and 
the Universe in turn. 

Section 2.—Doctrines proclaimed by Dara 

If Dara was an unbeliever in Islam 
there was as yet hardly any odour of in¬ 
fidelity in his writings. There are 
perhaps some doctrines, e.g., Pantheism 
and the theory of the Descent of the 
Absolute, which were not acceptable to 

1 In the English translation of the Rhala^Haqnuma by 
Rai Bahadur Sris Chandra Vasu (Allahabad. 1912), the exact 
date is not mentioned. The litho edition of the Newal Kishore 
Press gives the date Friday, 8th Rajab, 1055 A.H. But 8th 
Rajab of this year was not a Friday, but Wednesday, 20th 
August, 1645; 8th Rajab is therefore either an error or misprint; 
it should be either 10th or 17th Rajab. I consider the latter 
date more likely. 



the contemporary orthodox theologians, 
but the garb in which they were put was 
quite orthodox. Dara was out and out 
a Musalman during this period, being full 
of reverence for the Prophet and his 
teachings. He even gives a pseudo¬ 
scientific explanation of the tradition, that 
the body of the Prophet, just like a Hindu 
god, did not cast a shadow nor could any 
fly sit upon him. “Sine® soul ( ruh) is 
subtler than air even, and nothing can 
obstruct its movement or veil its activity, 
where is the wonder that the famous 
journey to heaven by that world-leader 
was made in his (etherealized) physical 
body ?” To the Prince (as he tells us in his 
Risala) “Allah” was the highest and best 
of all the names, and common to both those 
who believe in Islam and those who do 
not ( shamil-i-Jcuffar o Islam)} He claims 
no originality for his doctrines and tells us 

1 See Risala, pp. 1 , 9-10; S. C. Vasu’s translation. Text, 
pp. I, 13. Compare “All the hundred and twenty-four 
thousand prophets were sent to preach one word. They bade 
the people say “Allah** and devote themselves to Ham’*. 
Abul Fadl to Abu Said (Nicholson’s Studies in Islamic 
Mysticism , p. 7). 


[Ch. V. 

■ t08 

that he had simply made an abstract from 
•standard works on Sufi-ism which he 
mentions in his preface to the Risala-i- 
Haqnuma. Though he makes a fling at 
the theologians devoted to the externals of 
counterfeit Islam and brands their writ¬ 
ings as counterfeit coins, he emphatically 
•says, “It must be known that whatever is 
written in this Risala is exactly without 
a hair’s difference, the record of the 
practices, meditations, methods of sitting, 
moving, and acting adopted by the pro¬ 
phet . 1 If we take the Prince at his word 
we must hold that the Prophet practised 
the control of breath (Sanskrit Pranayam) 
in the cave of Hara, fixed his attention at 
the time of meditation on various centres 
(or chakras like the Hindu Yogis), saw 
the Illumination (Sanskrit jyoti), and 
heard the psychic sound (Sanskrit anahat 
dhwani) or the Great Voice of Silence. 
Absurd as these statements appear to us, 
we cannot justly accuse Dara Shukoh of 

1 Sar~i~mui tafawat o tajawaz na-yafta hud — Risala, Pert, 
text, p. 6, translation p. 4. 



importing these Indian or Tibetan 
mysteries into Islam. Scattered and 
obscure allusions to these practices 1 are 
found in the Sufi literature for several 
centuries prior to the birth of Dara 
Shukoh. He has simply handed down 
traditions from his Pir without a critical 

Dara’s doctrines, such as the theory 
of the coming down of the Spirit into 
Matter, were certainly unacceptable to the 
orthodox school of Sufi-ism. He says, 
“Know, 0 friend, that the reason why the 
essence of man has entered this frame¬ 
work of the body is that the seed which 
lies concealed in it may reach perfection* 
and again return to the Self” ( sabab-i- 
tazalzal-i-Haqiqat-i-insani dar in haijkal- 
i-jismani an ast he u wadiaa’t ke dar in 
pinhan ast bakamal rasidah baz ba-asal-i- 
khwesh paywandad ). 2 

1 The control of breath and the method of fixing attention* 
on the dil~i-9anoWari or the cedar-heart were, as the author of 
Dabistan-ut-Mazahib, a fellow-disciple of Dara, tells us, the 
common property of the Hindu, the Magian, and the 
Musalman ascetics in the first half of the seventeenth century*. 

2 Introduction to Risala-i-Haqnuma. 



[CH. V. 

However, it should be noticed that 
though every doctrine, every practice, and 
even every stage of spiritual progress 
explained in his Risala has a parallel in 
Sanskrit works on the Vedanta and Yoga 
systems of a much older date, Dara 
expressly says that this treatise is an 
abstract of standard works on Sufi-ism, 
such as, Fususu’l-hikam of Ibn-ul-Arabi, 
al-Futuhatu ’l-Makkiyya of the same 
author, Kitab-al-Luma, by Abu Nasr al- 
SarraJ and several other works. 

Section 3.—Dara on ascetic practices 

A word about Dara’s notion of 
asceticism. It is the general rule for a 
regular Sufi novice to wear the muraqqa 
or khirqa (patched frock). We do not 
know whether the Crown Prince of 
Hindustan ever wore it publicly, or under¬ 
neath his princely garment, like Cardinal 
Wolsey’s sack-cloth inside the dazzling 
gold and silk robe of a Chancellor. So 
far as we can judge from his writings, he 
preferred moral renunciation to asceti¬ 
cism. In his opinion “worldliness is the 



non-remembering of God. It does not 
consist either in dress, or in having 
sons and wife” He maintains this view 
throughout and says distinctly that his 
was the Path of Grace, not of Exertion, 
and that he was naturally attracted to 
God without the performance of any 
austerities. It is also to be noted that 
though the Prince professes himself to be 
a Qadiriya, he ignores the earlier stage of 
hard self-discipline and physical renun¬ 
ciation which Shaikh Abdul Qadir pres¬ 
cribes as essential for a novice. “In the 
discipline of the school to which the 
author belongs” says Dara, “there is, con¬ 
trary to the practices laid down in other 

schools, no pain and difficulty.there 

is no asceticism in it, everything is easy, 
gracious and a free gift. Everything here 
is love and affection, pleasure and ease”; 
God is not the tormentor, but the com¬ 
forter of his creatures and He certainly 
brings His “elect” through the Path, in 

1 Introduction to Safinat, rendered into English by S. C. 
Vasu; see Appendix, Risala, ii. 



{CH. V. 

order to welcome them, as guests, and not 
to punish them as criminals. 1 

The spirit of Islam is not one of 
renunciation, but of unattachment, to be 
engaged in outward worldly pursuits 
without being affected by them; to be in 
retirement in the very midst of worldly 
bustle is its criterion of spiritual progress. 2 3 

Dara ignores altogether gymnastic 
postures and devices for keeping off dis¬ 
traction by crying the name of God aloud 
such as a Qadiriya generally adopts. He 
is in favour of reciting very slowly and 
mentally the name “Allah”, without any 
movement of the tongue—a method which 
was recommended by Mian Mir to a few 
select disciples. He highly recommends 
the Svltan-ul-azkar, 1 which is exactly the- 

1 Ri&ala , Eng. trans. p. 5; Pers. text, p, 5. 

2 Dara's spiritualism finds a faithful echo in the immortal 
lines of our poet Rabindranath :— 

“fcrmj i & ^ ; 


*t*r r— 

3 The usual course for a beginner in the Qadiriya order 
is to read Sura /^fcfas, Sura Falaq , Sura Nss seven times each 
before he sita down to meditation. The aspirant then sits 

PHYSICAL exercises of mystics M3 

same process of controlling the mind by 
the regulation of. breath as the Pranayam 
of the Hindus, with this difference 
that the Hindu Yogi sits erect while 
the Sufi bends forward placing his 
two elbows on his two knees at the time 
of regulating his breath. Dara says ,in 
his Risala that Mian Mir had communi¬ 
cated the secret of this practice in parables 
and allusions to Maulana Shah, who in 
a similar manner transmitted it to him; 
but while Maulana Shah could grasp its 
real meaning in a year, his apt pupil 
realized the effect of it in six months, 
and those who learnt it from Dara, began 
to see the light of the soul and hear the 
cosmic sound within three or four days! 
This is not surprising in a country and 

cross legged (technically called four-kneed posture), utters the 
word *La aloud and with a forcible jerk of the head upon the 
left knee; *illa on the right knee. *ha on the right shoulder 
and 4t ilaha” more loudly and with greater emphasis on the 
heart, so as to strike it internally like the hammer of the black¬ 
smith. Sufis of other schools laugh at this vociferous practice 
of invoking Allah who is neither deaf, nor stays afar; the 
distance between Allah and his creatures being even shorter 
than that between the rider and the neck of his camel I 



[CH. V. 

an age when the wise maxim prevailed, 
“If the King says it is midnight at mid¬ 
day, one would do well to add, ‘Yes, I see 
myriads of stars’!” In his boundless 
enthusiasm, unbalanced self-confidence 
and deplorable ignorance of men, the 
spiritual director only foreshadowed the 
futile statesman and soldier of the future. 

Section 4.—The Unitarianism of Dara Shukoh 
The Sufis are the Unitarians of Islam, 
and their goal is tawhid 1 or unification, 
which consists in affirming the unity of 
God after having gained a perfect know¬ 
ledge of His Unity. They seek Him each 
in his own way, and hence there are as 
many ways to God as there are seekers 
of Him. The famous saint Abu Said 
Fazlullah of Khurasan says, “Innumer¬ 
able are the ways to God, yet the way is 
but a single step: take one step out of 
thyself, that thou mayst arrive at God.” 
To pass away from self (fana) is to realize 
that self does not exist, and that nothing 

1 For a learned discussion on tawhid » see Nicholson’s 
translation of the Ka»hf-ul~Mahjuh , pp. 278-285. 



exists except God ( tawhid ). The Tradi¬ 
tion, ‘He who knows himself knows his 
Lord’, signifies that he who knows himself 
as not-being (’ adam) knows God as the 
Real Being ( wajud). This knowledge 
cannot he obtained through the intellect , 

.it cannot be learned, but is given 

by divine illumination. The organ 
which receives it is the heart. . . .” 2 

The doctrine of tawhid was the 
subject of Dara’s lifelong study, and the 
perfect realization of it through know¬ 
ledge and contemplation was the goal of 
his spiritualism. We shall first deal with 
its devotional aspect. 

2 Sec Nicholson’s Studies in Islamic Mysticism , p. 50; C/. 
ICabir’s sayings :— 

m wrfT tfn *rr, fan* fT* i 

spr qnr fta u 
*tt vrw m ft wrfa i 

tiw fvn w* i nf% w 

t.e., You do not know the name of the village (the destina¬ 
tion), without knowing this where will you go? A cycle of ages 
has passed in travelling, but the village lies only at a distance 

of half a mile:.What you have searched through 

the whole universe lies within you. He has given a veil of 
illusion which keeps Him concealed from our eyes. 



[CH. V. 

It was God who had promised divine 
knowledge to the Prince in his early 
youth, and Dara had since then waited 
for the day when God would in His 
boundless mercy draw him unto Him¬ 
self. “I have no hope,” says the Prince, 
“of reaching the goal through my own 
deeds and acts. My sole reliance is on 
thy mercy, O Lord.” 1 Dara followed the 
Path of Grace, which took him to many 
Masters for spiritual illumination. He 
first realized “unity” through meditation 
under the spiritual guidance of Maulana 
Shah, and thereafter, “his eagerness to 
visit the gnostics of every religion, and to 
listen to discourses on the doctrine of 
Divine Unity ( tawhid ) became great ; he 
read many books on Sufi-ism, and wrote 
tracts on it ; his thirst for the knowledge 
of the Divine Unity (tishnagi dar taZdb-i- 
tawhid), which is verily a boundless ocean, 
went on increasing every day . . . .” 2 He 

X Introduction to the Safinat-ul-awliya (1639 A.D.) tr. by 
9. C. Vaiu. 

2 introduction to the Sirr-i-akbar. 



came into intimate contact with many 
saints and, in the language of the Sufi, he 
drank deep in many “drinking ghats ” 
( mashrab ) to allay his spiritual thirst. 
The highest realization came to him not 
through the intellect or by calm contem¬ 
plation, but in a mystic “rage of love” 
which passed over him during the years 
circa 1645-1650. Some letters of Dara 
Shukoh to an eminent contemporary 
saint, Shah Dil-ruba, bring out an interest¬ 
ing feature of the mysticism of the Prince 
and the evolution of his conception of 
“Unity”. We shall here only hint at the 
stages of this evolution, as these letters 
will be translated elsewhere in full. 

There are, according to the Sufis, 
three stages in the realization of One-ness 
( ittihad ). The first stage is the annihila¬ 
tion of Self, and union (jama) without real 
separation although the appearance of 
separation is maintained. At this stage 
the aspirant realizes “Everything is He— 
I am nothing.” This state of spirituality 
is reflected in letter No. 3 of Dara to Dil- 



[Ch. V. 

ruba. In commonplace poetic effusion he 

“Lord, my dear, I am not, I am not ; 

“Thou art the Lover, Love, and the Beloved.” 

The second stage, technically called 
“the intoxication of union” (sakru l jam), 
marks the highest point of l uruz or 
spiritual ascent. Here the consciousness 
of separation between “I” and “Thou” 
completely vanishes, the mystic being 
entirely absorbed in the undifferentiated 
one-ness of God. The devotee is seized 
with a giddiness as it were, and ‘self and 
‘God’ become indistinguishable to him. 
He realizes “I am I”, and in worshipping 
God he only worships himself. The letter 
No. 4 written by Dara Shukoh to Shah 
Dil-ruba reflects the transition from the 
first to the second stage of this realization 
on the part of the Prince. In the intro¬ 
ductory verses, Dara in ecstatic rapture 
visualizes God as Shakhs-i-kul or the 
Universal Person (Sans. Virat ), and 
praises Him almost in the language of the 


Bhagavad-gita 1 : Hamah wajah, hamah 
sama' hamah 'ayn, i.e., . . . “Thou who 
art all faces, all ears, and all eyes.” A 
pantheist, Dara says in amazement: 
“Truly, indeed very truly, to the eye that 
can see, the whole ( kul) stands clearly 
manifest in its part ; the world-illuminat¬ 
ing sun can be recognized in every shining 
particle of sand, the ocean in every drop of 
the brine.” 

Dara, forgetful of the yawning abyss 
of fanaticism and ignorance below, from 
the pinnacle of his spiritual ascent pens to 
Shah Dil-ruba in the same letter: “The 
externals of Islam have fallen off from the 
heart of this faqir, and the real infidelity 
has been revealed to me. 

“1 have become the weaier of the sacred 
thread, 1 an idol-worshipper ; 

1 Cf. xiii. 13 ;— 

«4rr. ftiwfsr u 

1 Cf, Diwan-i-Amir Khusru :— 

Kafir-i-hhqam Musalmani morn dor kar nisi, 

Hot rag-i-mcm tar gashta hajat-i-zunnar nisi, 
Khalq nva-gnaid fee Khusru but-pcarasti me-faun ad, 
Ar4, Ari , me-feunem ba-hhalq-i-alam feer-e nisi. 



[CH. V. 

“Nay, I have become the worshipper of the self 
( Khud-parast ), and a priest of the temple 
of Fire-worshippers (dair-nashin).” 

He finishes with a more brilliant touch— 

(Verses) "Agar Kafir {a)z Islam-i-majazi gasht be-zar ; 
Ke ra kuffr-i-haqiqi shud padidar. 

Damn har-but-e jan-ist pinhan ; 
Ba-zer-i-k.uffar iman-ist pinhan. 1 

i.e., If the infidel is alienated from the 
external Islam, who has come to know 
the real nature of infidelity? 

Life lies concealed in every idol and 
Faith lies hidden beneath Infidelity.” 

The Risala-i-Haqnuma seems to have 
been written in the stage of “the intoxica¬ 
tion of Union”; witness his own words :— 

( i) No one is a stranger to Thee in this 
Universe ; on whatever Thou layest Thy 
hands that confronts Thee as Thy own 

Or, Love has made me an infidel; I have no business 
with the faith of a Musalman : Every artery of mine has become 
a string; I do not require the sacred thread (which the idol- 
worshipping Brahman wears as the badge of his infidelity). 
People say ‘Khuaru worships an idol;* 

Yes: I do: leave me alone; I have nothing to do with the 
creatures of this world. 



(ii) 0 thou who seekest God every¬ 
where, thou verily art that God and not 
separate from Him. This search of thine 
is exactly like the search of the drop for 
the ocean, when it is already in the midst 
of the waters of the ocean. 

He assures “the aspirant” . . . “when 
thou shaft carry this stage to perfection, 
then there will remain no doubt that thou 
art the truth". This is the realization of 
“I am God; I am the Truth” ( ana ’ al- 
Haqq) or as the Vedantin says— 

“I am the Brahman (brahmosmi )”. 
This was the truth of truths which the 
Vedic rishis proclaimed from the forests of 
Aryavarta ; and this was the truth which 
startled the Muslim world in the palmy 
days of Harun-al-Rashid, when every drop 
of the martyred blood of Hallaj,—(as they 
say)—cried out from the dust of Baghdad, 
"Ana’ al-Haqq”. 

In fact, the externals of Islam, save 
Allah, Muhammad, and the Quran, 
perished in the mysticism of Dara. The 
Prince awoke to a new life, vigorous and 
fresh, and pursued further his investiga- 



[CH. V. 

tion of the doctrine of tawhid in the 
scriptures of other religions. He was 
familiarly addressed as al-Kamil or the 
Perfect One, and acknowledged as an 
authority on Sufi-ism by the liberal sec¬ 
tion of his contemporaries. He recovered 
“the sobriety of union” which marks the 
third stage of the realization of One-ness, 
with a fervent belief in the principle of 
unity-in-plurality as enunciated in the 
opening lines of letter No. 5 to Shah Dil- 
ruba. “In the name of Him who is 
Incomparable in the one-ness of Being, 
whose wahidat (One-ness) no plurality 
( kasrat ) can conceal, and in spite of all 
this plurality (many-ness), whose wahidat 
(Unity-in-plurality) exists like number 1 
among numbers.” 

Section 5.—The Theosophy of Dara Shukoh. 

The key-note of Dara’s theosophy was 
the uncompromising monotheism of the 
Quran, realized in the principle of “Unity- 
in-plurality”. There is no place for more 
than one in the heart of the Musalman ; 
—either “I” or “He” must perish in the 


physical as well as in the spiritual plane 
for the peace of his soul. It is the reli¬ 
gion of the Musalman to carry on a 
“ jihad ” both inside against his “lower 
self” ( nafs), as well as outside against 
“others” who do not acknowledge the one¬ 
ness of God. The proud Musalman 
warrior goes out to conquer others with 
his inborn ego ism “I am and no other” ; 
and to realize himself and the unity of 
God by a grim process of elimination by 
the logic of the sword. The saint of Islam 
is always on the alert to fight “others” 
which peep into his heart as “dangers” 
(khatrat), and to wrestle with them 
desperately till he recognizes them to be 
wanton pranks of his own self ; outside 
he meets humanity with no other weapon 
than the boundless love of his faithful 
heart—a heart which is more spacious 
than heaven and earth. He conquers God 
and man by receiving them into his bosom 
and expands himself into the Universal 
Person (shakhs-i-kul) to feel oneness with 
the whole creation and the Creator. 

The Sufi is a lover,—even a prototype 



[CH. V. 

of the lover who often carries his love for 
an earthly being to the point of scandal. 
He impatiently knocks at the door of his 
Beloved, crying aloud “It is I”, but there 
is no response, no admittance till the lover, 
lost to himself, humbly repeats, “It is 
thou”. But when the Sufi eagerly goes to 
embrace his Beloved, he finds in his own 
embrace no other being than his own 
“Self”, which had been for ages playing 
wanton pranks with him. Nevertheless, 
the joy of the Sufi is a thousand times 
deeper than that of one who longs for an 
animated doll of flesh and blood ; his love 
knows no separation either in life or in 
death, no ebb and flow through eternity, 
and the beauty of his beloved knows no 
wrinkle of age. The problem of problems 
to the Sufi is the discord between “I” and 
“He” ; the One and the Many. There is 
no salvation for humanity, no peace in the 
world till an agreement is reached on this 
point. So the Sufi makes up the quarrel 
by a self-consuming love, till he awakes 
to the truth “/ am He". 

But how are the polytheist and 


the monotheist to meet in friend¬ 
ship, when the former is blind to the 
One, and the latter, with equal blind¬ 
ness, would refuse to accept a fact, and in 
self-deception ignores the Many ? The 
Sufi by his spiritual penetration sees what 
the common folk do not and he proclaims 
to the world “There are many religions, 
but only one God ; diverse ways, but only 
one goal.” 1 The Sufi knows well “a true 
polytheist” and discovers “pure faith” 
hidden beneath the rubbish of infidelity. 
He sees only a difference of the angle of 
vision between the Musalman and the 
Hindu in looking at the same Being. 
They quarrel childishly because none of 
them can see the complete Absolute Truth, 
and both persist with vulgar obstinacy 
in their own folly and ignorance. More¬ 
over, the common followers of both 
religions look with suspicion upon the 
mystic who advises peace and offers to 
guide them aright in realizing the 
complete truth. He despairs of weaning 

1 See Nicholson*8 Studies in Islamic Mysticism , p. 23. 



[CH. V. 

them from “self-interest” and turns away 
in disgust saying, as Dara Shukoh said, in 
pity and disgust — 

“mara ba- umuam-i-in har do qaum 

kare nist." 

i.e., I have no business with the common 
folk of these two communities} He 
turned to “the elect” of these communities 
and hoped to bring about a general 

concord in the long run through the 

efforts of “the Elect”. 

The true infidel sees the Many 
submerged in the One, while the 

Musalman sees nothing but the One 
manifested as the Many. In the 

technical terminology of the Muslim philo¬ 
sophers, the discord between Huwiyya 
i.e., He-ness, and Aniyya i.e., I-ness is 
overcome in Wahidiyya, i.e., the Many 
identical in essence with each other 
and with the One} This principle of 
Wahidiyya, i.e., Unity-in-plurality was the 
key-stone of Dara’s theosophy. The 

1 Introduction to the Majmu-al-Baharain. 

2 Sec Nichoiaon’s Studies in Islamic Mystidm, pp. 96-97. 


world had agreed on the principle many 
centuries before the birth of Dara Shukoh; 
but it was none the happier, nor was there 
any sign of concord among men. People 
quarrel over shadows though there could 
be no mistake about the substance, and 
they shed blood in the name of God! So 
mankind cannot agree on the worship of 
God with a name, as each sect will call 
him by a different one. So the philoso¬ 
pher-prince proclaimed the new Gospel of 
India three hundred years back and 
invoked blessing upon his divine mission 
of mingling the two oceans, Islam and 
Hinduism—saying, “In the name of Him 
who has no name; but who reveals Him¬ 
self by means of any name He desires; 
boundless praise be to the Beloved who 
wears on His incomparably beautiful 
countenance Hinduism and Islam, con¬ 
traries as they are like two opposite 
points .... without allowing either of 
them to be a veil on His benign face. 
Hinduism and Islam are both in search of 
Him, proclaiming, ‘He is one without a 
partner, in everything He is manifest, He 



[CH. V. 

is the beginning, He is the end, and 
nothing exists but He. He is the neigh¬ 
bour, friend and fellow-traveller. He is 
within the shreds and patches of the 
faqir’s robe as well as in the purple of the 
monarch’. . . . There are in the august 
assembly as well as in the neglected 
corner men who know Him.” 1 

By study and occult practices Dara 
acquired a philosophic imagination which 
to a Sufi is the true vision and faculty 
divine. This alone enables the seeker to 
comprehend the Divine Essence and its 
relation to^ Attributes, and above all “to 
know himself”. The Prince says to his 
imaginary pupil in the Risala : “When it 
reaches perfection, wherever thou shalt 
look thou shalt see thyself, and every¬ 
where thou shalt recognize thy own 
identity. Beware and do not think of 
Him as without colours and without attri¬ 
butes ; in that case thou shalt not have 
the fortune of tashbih,i.e ., visualizing Him 
in the universe which is His image. 

- 1 Introduction to the Majmn-al-Baharain. T|e above i* a 
free rendering. 


Similarly, beware that thou mayst not 
limit >His conception to similitude from the 
manifestations, and to qualities only, lest 
thou shalt be deprived of a share in His 
wealth of tanjih , i.e., impersonality ; but 
thou shouldst know that purity and im¬ 
purity (i.e., the state of being without 
attribute, and that of being limited by 
attribute), personality and impersonality 
(tashbih o tanjih) are all aspects of His 
manifestation and self-limitation. If 
thou thinkest even the smallest atom to 
be separate from Him, verily thou shalt 
be forbidden the blessing of Unity and of 
Knowledge (tawhid o irfari).” 1 The know¬ 
ledge of God, according to the Sufi, is 
self-knowledge, which, however, like 
wine only a few can stand. Under 
its intoxication the devotee becomes 
lost to himself, and utters what sounds 
blasphemy and heresy to the ears of the 
uninitiated. The famous saint Abu Said 
once cried out pointing to himself : “There 
is naught within this vest except Allah.” 

1 See The Compass of Troth, p. 23; Per*, text, p. 23. 




[CH. V. 

Section 6.—The Spiritual Progress actually 

The above marks the highest point of 
spiritual ascent, and no progress beyond 
this is possible except by retrogression. 
The third or last stage of the realization 
of One-ness is reached when the Sufi 
retraces his path, and recovers “the 
sobriety of union” (sahwa l-jam’). “This 
is the stage in which the mystic returns 
from the pure one-ness of the second stage 
to plurality in oneness and to separation 
in union and to the Law in the truth, so 
that while continuing to be united with 
God he serves Him as a slave serves his 
lord and manifests the Divine life in its 
perfection, mankind”. 1 The path of 
the spiritual journey is like that of the cir¬ 
cumference of a circle which ends at the 
selfsame point of its start. The Sufi com¬ 
mences his ascent (uruz) from the Alam- 
i-nasut, i.e the physical plane or the 

1 For a notice of the three stages of "Oneness," see 
Nicholson's Studies in Islamic Mysticism, p. 230, footnote 326- 

327 . 


world of perception, climbs successively to 
the Alam-i-malakut , i.e., the astro-mental 
plane or the world of spirits ; and to the 
A lam-i-jabrut, which is the plane of bliss, 
unity and satisfaction ; finally he reaches 
the Alam-i-lahut, also called the Alam-i- 
Hawwiyat or the plane of Thatness, i.e., 
of the absolute Truth. Dara Shukoh in 
his Risala-i-IIaqnuma gives a fascinat¬ 
ing description of the four planes, “com¬ 
municating to the world at large some 
perfume of the experience through which 
he had passed.” The Alam-i-lahut being 
the plane of Divinity, cannot be the per¬ 
manent station of the mystic. His journey 
becomes complete only when he descends 
(nazul) again to the Alam-i-nasut , which 
is the proper station of humanity. 

If we are to accept the orthodox defi¬ 
nition of the stage of “the sobriety of 
union” quoted above, Dara never com¬ 
pletely reached it, because he was to the 
last indifferent to the Law ( shariyat ), and 
as such, in the opinion of the orthodox, 
failed to “manifest the Divine life in its 
perfection, mankind”. 



[CH. V. 

The Prince seemed to have recovered 
partially this sobriety of union when 
he wrote his next letter (no. 5) to 
Shah Dil-ruba. In the opening lines of 
this letter he praises God not in verses but 
in severe prose, dwelling on the principle 
of unity-in-plurality. He begins, “In the 
name of Him who is incomparable and 
unrivalled in the unity of His existence, 
whose absolute Oneness no plurality 
(kasrat) can conceal, and whose unity, in 
spite of all this plurality, exists like the 
unit 1 among numbers.” The orthodox 
school of Sufism, though in itself an 
enigma, would refuse to acknowledge any¬ 
body as the perfect Unitarian if he does 
not return to the path of the Shariyat 
after “the intoxication of union”. But 
Dara Shukoh was one of those pious 
rebels who did not consider it essential to 
conform to the letter of the Law after the 
realization of the Truth. When the truth 
(haqiqat) dawns, the Sufi becomes, in the 
opinion of these bold transgressors of the 
Law, a Perfect Man (Kamil), whose 
existence expands from the partial into 


the universal, 1 and whom no creed or com¬ 
munity can exclusively claim as its own. 
Their very excess of religion becomes 
irreligion, and early fervour and enthu¬ 
siasm cool down to indifference. It is no 
wonder that Dara Shukoh, whom the con¬ 
temporary saints called al-Kamil (the 
perfect man), though perhaps in mutual 
admiration, was suspected to be a poly¬ 
theist by the Muslim theologians, and 
could be credited with no religion even by 
his enthusiastic foreign partisan Manucci. 
He made a religion of the doctrine of 
tawhid or Unitarianism, and pursued his 
investigations to the bourn of Infidelity. 

1 Cf, . . It will make thee universal from partial, an 
ocean from a drop, a sun from a shining particle of sand, and 
existence from non-existence/’ (az juzu tu-ra kul sazad, os 
qatra dariya, az zarrah qftab , az nist hast). See Risala, text, 
p. 27. 



Dara Shukoh was admittedly the 
greatest scholar of his age and country 
and the most learned prince of the House 
of Timur. He was no amateur in the 
field of scholarship, but an earnest 
student of theosophy with a passion for 
discovering the principle of unity-in¬ 
plurality in revealed religions. The 
history of his literary activity is also the 
history of the evolution of his spiritualism. 
Philosophic inquiry was with him a part 
of religious worship, and his writings were 
his best prayers to his God,—to “the 
Divinity objectified in humanity.” He 
became convinced that the doctrine of 
tawhid or divine unity has assumed, like 
pure water different colours in different 
vessels (i.e., in various religions, which 
differ only in appearance but completely 

dara's aims as a writer 


agree in essence). He wielded his 
brilliant and facile pen with the sincerity 
and courage of a martyr to popularize 
this great truth, which he believed to be 
the healing-balm of the sore of religious 
discord that was eating into the vitals of 
mankind. This he did, not by repudiat¬ 
ing the religion of Muhammad, but by 
reading an original meaning into it, by 
removing the stigma of narrowness from 
the noble brow of Islam. He showed that 
the bosom of Islam is not less capacious 
than the heart of the Musalman, which 
alone—in God’s own words—can accom¬ 
modate Him whom heaven and earth can¬ 
not contain. 

There are two distinct periods in the 
history of the literary activity of Dara 
Shukoh. Down to 1647 A.D., i.e., up to 
the completion of his Risala-i-Haqnuma, 
Dara was mainly occupied with the Sufi 
theosophy of the Pantheistic School. 
From 1647 to 1657 he devoted himself to 
the study of the Jewish, Christian and 
Hindu religions, with the object of dis¬ 
covering the underlying principles of 



[CH. VI. 

these religions, and harmonizing them 
with the tenets of Islam. It was probably 
during this period that he approached the 
great saint Sarmad the Jew as a pupil to 
study the Jewish religion. Sarmad with 
his beloved disciple Abhai Chand was at 
this time living in the newly-built Delhi 
of Shah Jahan. Abhai Chand had trans¬ 
lated a part of the Book of Moses into 
Persian, which was revised 1 by his 
master Sarmad. This work was appa¬ 
rently the common source of information 
about the Pentateuch to Dara Shukoh as 
well as to the author of Dabistan, who was 
his friend and admirer. There was less 
difficulty as regards the Gospels and the 
Psalms which had already been fami¬ 
liarized in India, particularly at that 
important centre of Jesuit activity, 
Agra. Manueci says that Dara delighted 
to hear the Christian fathers overcome 
the champions of other religions with their 
arguments. Four Jesuit fathers, Father 
Estanilas Malpica (a Neapolitan), Pedro 

1 See Shea's Dabistan, ii. 299, 300. 



Juzarte (a Portuguese), Father Henri 
Buzeo (a Flamand), and Heinrich Roth (a 
German), enjoyed the intimacy of the 
Prince who, as Manueci says, loved to 
drink occasionally with them. 

As regards Hindu philosophy, it had 
been filtrating imperceptibly into the 
esoteric Islam even before its advent into 
India. Alberuni in the 11th century, and 
Abul Fazl in the sixteenth, made the 
elements of the six systems of Hindu 
philosophy accessible to the Musalmans. 
Since the literary Renaissance of the age 
of Akbar, the Musalmans began to take 
greater interest in Sanskrit literature and 
the Hindu religion. Akbar presented 
popular Hinduism to the Musalmans by 
having the Mahab?iarat, the Ra?nayan, 
and the Atharva Veda translated into 
Persian. But these translations benefited 
rather the succeeding generations of 
the Persian-knowing, Tslamicized Hindu 
Court-nobility than their Muslim com¬ 
patriots who could not form any high 
opinion of Hinduism from these books. 
The Muslim missed the high philosophic 



[CH. VL 

truths and morals hidden under romance 
and allegory in these Sanskrit works. 
Badayuni, who was the type of Mulla 
revered as an oracle and model of piety 
by the mass of the Muslim population, 
considered it a sin to be engaged in 
translating the religioxis books of the 
infidels. He learnt three things about the 
Hindus, namely that they used to eat 
beef and bury their dead in ancient times, 
and that they had a formula in the 
Atharva Veda which was similar in mean¬ 
ing and sound to the Muslim Kali m a, 
having many ‘LV in it. 

Dara Shukoh tapped the very spring¬ 
head of Hindu philosophy, and presented 
the highest and best tenets of Hindu¬ 
ism to the Musalmans in an attractive 
garb by the translation of its standard 
philosophical works into Persian. He 
translated (evidently with the help of 
Pandits)—the Bhagavad Gita 1 under the 

1 Ethe’a Catalogue of the India Office Library, (p. 1111) 
MS. No, 1949. **In the British Museum copy of it, it is 
wrongly ascribed to Abul Fazl; the real translator was, as 
a note on fol. 13 in the present copy proves—Dara Shtkoh". 


misleading title of “Battle between Arjun 
and Durjodhan”, divided into 18 chapters, 
as we learn from a marginal note in 
the India Office Library MS. of this 
work. The famous philosophical drama 
“ Prahodh-chandrodaya ” was rendered in¬ 
to Persian under the title of Gulzar-i-hal 1 2 
for the use of Dara Shukoh by his raunshi 
Banwalidas, who, with the assistance of 
the Prince’s favourite astrologer Bhawani- 
das. traslated it from the Hindi version of 
this work by Swami Nand Das. There is 
in the Bodleian Library a Persian work 
“ Tarjama-i-J ocja-V ashishta” 1 (translation 
of the Joga-Vashishta), made for Dara. 

Leaving out the above-mentioned 

1 Catalogue of the India Office Library, p. 1111, MS. 
No. 1995. Bhagwandas is mentioned by Manucci as the most 
favourite astrologer of Dara ( Storia , i. 223). 

2 Ethe and Sachau's Bodleian Library Catalogue Vol. Hi., 
p. 818. The author of Dabistan mentions one Mulla 
Muhammad, a Sufi, as having translated some parts of the 
Joga-V aahishta . We learn from the Misra-bandhu-binode 
(History of Hindi Literature in Hindi) that Kavindracharya 
Saraswati wrote a compendium of this work in Hindi with 
the title Joga-V ashishta-sara (M.B. ii. 453). This was perhaps 
meant for his patron, Dara Shukoh. 



[Ch. VI. 

books written under his patronage, Dara 
was himself the author of the following 
works in Persian :— 

1. Safinat-ul-awliya —or Lives of 
Muslim Saints, was written when he was 
‘full of the pain of search’ in the path of 
Sufism. It was completed in 1039 A.D., 
i.e., when the Prince was about 24 years 
old. The work throughout breathes noble 
sentiments, bearing testimony to his wide 
reading, particularly in Sufi literature. It 
is interesting to study the first stage in the 
growth of Dara’s spiritual life in his first 
literary production. 

2. His second book, “ Sahinat-ul- 
awliya ”, completed in 1642 A.D., marks a 
more mature stage of his religious life. 
He says, “When I became more intimate 
with the rules of discipline and the various 
stages of the Path ... I composed a book 
on the various signs, conduct, stages and 
miracles of my own Shaikhs (meaning 
apparently the saints of the Qadiriya 
order), and called it Sakinat-ul-awliya" 
It deals mainly with the life of the 
renowned saint Mian Mir of Lahor. 

dara’s easy EXPOSITION OF SUFISM ■ 141 

3. His third literary production, 
Risala-i-Haqnuma or the Compass of 
Truth, was written for the instruction 
of novices in the path of Sufi-ism. Here 
Dara speaks as a Pir to a Murid, though 
he deprecates the use of these terms ; the 
murid is addressed as “friend”, and he 
describes himself in the third person, not 
in Julian pride but with the genuine 
humility of a faqir. This tract is said 
to have been written under divine 
inspiration between August 1645 and 
January 1647. As Dara had been with 
the Emperor in Kashmir from April * to 
September 15, 1645, the revelation must 
have come to him in Kashmir on Friday, 
17th Rajab, 1 (August 19, 1645). The year 
1646 during which this Risala was written, 
was a year of great anxiety and misfor¬ 
tune for Dara, because his loving wife 
Nadira Banu had been suffering from a 
prolonged illness for eleven months, and 

1 Nawal Kishore press Litho text has “8th Rajab,“ which 
is not a Friday, but Wednesday. “8th“ is evidently a slip, 
possibly for 17th Rajab. See text p. 4. 



[CH. VI. 

recovered only in February 1647. 1 In the 
Introduction, Dara says, “Know that this 
pamphlet consists of four chapters (Chahar 
fast), and each chapter gives the descrip¬ 
tion of an Alam, i.e., plane of existence.” 
(Pers. text, p. 8). But the Risala-i- 
Haqnuma which is extant in MS. as well 
as in print has six chapters. It is reason¬ 
able to infer that the Risala originally 
had four chapters and ended with the 
description of the fourth and highest 
plane, viz., the Alam-i-lahut. The last 
two chapters, on the nature of Truth, are 
undoubtedly from the pen of Dara, but 
they appear to have been added to it as 
a supplement at a later date. 

Dara, like every learned Muslim 
theosophist, was deeply influenced by 
Neo-Platonism. 2 He professes to com¬ 
municate only that which he heard from 
his spiritual teachers or read in standard 

1 Dara accompanies the Emperor to Kashmir, Pad, ii. 413; 
returns to Lahor, ibid,, pp. 467-9; Shah Jahan visits Nadira 
Banu after recovery, ibid,, p. 634. 

2 **. . . . When Plato heard this, he believed in Moses, 
and acknowledged that he was a messenger of God”. (Risala, 
text p. 18; The Compass of Truth, p. 18). 

dara’s risala examined 


works on Sufi-ism. It is unfair to expect 
a critical and scientific spirit in an author 
who is also a devotee and is dealing with 
occultism. With all its faults and merits 
Risala-i-Haqnuma is a faithful mirror of 
Dara’s personality and character. In all 
fairness to him it must be admitted that 
only those who have spiritual insight 
can, indeed, do justice to the author. The 
elements of Sufi-ism were never put in a 
more attractive and intelligible form by 
any other writer within such a small 

4. Majmua-ul-Baharain (Mingling of 
two Oceans). This tract was the first 
fruit of the comparative study of Islam 
and Hinduism by Dara Shukoh. The date 
of its composition is uncertain; but there 
is very little doubt that it was written 
cir. 1650-1656. The Prince introduces his 
treatise in right orthodox style with a 
praise of God in whom Islam and Hindu¬ 
ism meet, followed by an invocation of 
peace and blessings upon Mustapha (the 
Prophet), his family and his chief 



[Ch. VI. 

Companions. This is enough to prove 
that Dara had not renounced allegiance to 
God and his Prophet. The Prince says 
that by constant association and frequent 
discourse with the Hindus he discovered 
that as regards the ways and means of 
knowing God, the difference between the 
Hindus and the Musalmans was only 
verbal, the conflict being one of language 
and expression (ikhtalaf-i-lafzi). In this 
work he has culled together the elemen¬ 
tary principles of the theory of Creation, 
common to Brahmanism and Islam. In 
his pride of authorship the Prince says 
that he writes for “the elect” of the two 
communities, who only can be benefited 
by his industry and researches. He has 
nothing but contempt for the commonalty 
of the two creeds, “the blockheads without 
insight” (kund-fahaman-i-ghair-bin). 

Undoubtedly the Prince struck an 
original line of investigation which, if 
honestly pursued for the benefit of this 
neglected commonalty, may achieve great 
things in the present century, when the 



fate of India depends on a fresh attempt 
at the mutual comprehension of her two 
spiritual elements and an appreciative 
study of her two apparently discordant 

This work of Dara Shukoh is the first 
serious and scholarly attempt in this 
direction, and has as such a unique 
interest for every student of Indian 
History. Dara was not a great Sanskritist 
like Al-Beruni; nor did he possess the 
calm judgment and critical acumen of 
that renowned scholar. He had to rely 
mostly upon the Pandits who hardly 
agree among themselves in the interpreta¬ 
tion of their literature and philosophy. 
Owing to these limitations the conclusions 
of the princely author may not be quite 
acceptable to specialists of the present 
age. The main thesis of the Prince in this 
work was to prove that the ideas of Hindu 
cosmogony were similar to those embodied 
in the Quran. The task of the Prince was 
one of exceptional difficulty, and therefore 
it is no wonder if his analogies and 



[Ch. VI. 

parallelisms are sometimes far-fetched and 
superficial. 1 

1 A* the publication of the complete text of the Majtrwa - 
al-Bakarain with translation has of late been announced by 
the Secretary, A. S. B., it is unnecessary to translate any 
part of this work here for elucidation. 



Section 4.—Sirr-i-Akbar or Sirr-ul-asrar 

The last and greatest of Dara’s 
literary achievements was the translation 
of 52 Upanishads from their Sanskrit 
original into graceful and masterly 
Persian prose, under the title of Sirr-i- 
Akbar (the Great Secret), or as it is found 
named in some MSS., Sirr-ul-asrar (the 
Secret of Secrets). A more suitable title 
for the Upanishads in their Persian garb 
can hardly be imagined than “the Great 
Secret or Secret of secrets”, both being 
very suggestive of the nature of their 
contents, which the Aryan sages always 
held (The greatest of all 

secrets). Dara opens his Introduction 
with an equally appropriate praise of 
God whose Essence is cl oared to a point 
or dot, having an existence without 
length, breadth, or depth, indivisible and 
all-pervading. This was indeed * the 
sum mum bonum of the spiritual ! expe¬ 
rience of Dara, as well as of every /seeker 
after God who, they say, exists, baif whose 



[Oi. VI. 

only be described in terms of negation 
(neti, neti). It was the insatiable thirst 
for the fullest exposition of the doctrine 
of Tauhid or Oneness of God that brought 
him at last to its very fountain-head, the 
Upanishads. The Prince took a hint frorp 
the Quran which says: "‘Indeed it is an 
honoured Quran in a book that is hidden. 
None shall touch it, but the purified ones. 
It is a revelation by the Lord of the 
worlds” (Sura LVI). And commenting on 
this passage Dara says that this (hidden 
Bopk) can be neither Jabur (the Psalms), 
nor Taunt (the Books of Moses), nor Injil 
(the Gospels); nor does it refer to the 
Lauh-i-Mahfuz, the Protected Tablet 
under the throne of God, because the 
word “tanzil” means something revealed 
which the Protected Tablet is not. 
According to him the Upanishad could 
be none other than the “hidden Book” of 
the Quran; because the etymological 
significance of the Upanishad suggests 
“that which is taught in secret”. Dara is 



being earlier than that of all the three 
Scriptures mentioned above. But few 
would agree either with Dara’s interpreta¬ 
tion of the Quranic verse or with his 
assumption that the Prophet through 
whom the Quran was revealed ever knew 
of the existence of the Upanishads. At 
any rate, it suited the purpose of this 
great missionary of peace and reconcilia¬ 
tion, whose ultimate object in his literary 
and spiritual pursuits was to establish 
harmony between the two apparently con¬ 
flicting cultures and creeds of India . 1 

1 Mr. Nevill, on the authority of a local tradition perhaps 
writes that Dara Shukoh spent several years of his life in 
Benares, where his name is preserved in the muhalla Daranagar. 
It was here, he says, that Dara wrote the Persian translation 
of Upanishads with the help of 150 pandits (Benares District 
Gaz. P. 1%). Accordingly, l wrote on p. 22 of this book, 
“Dara visited it (Allahabad) once only (1656-1657), and com¬ 
pleted at Benares his monumental work .... translation of 
50 Upanishads on 1st July, 1657.“ The whole sentence should 
be rejected in view of the discovery of a MS. (by Mr. Mahesh 
Prasad of Allahabad) in which there is a very definite mention 
of the date and place of the completion of the work. I have in 
order to test the accuracy of the passage in the Ms. of Mr. 
Mahesh Das, —traced the movements of Dara as given in the 
Padshahnama. It is proved beyond doubt that Dara could 
not have been in Allahabad or Benares in the year 1657 A.D. 
Dara, who always accompanied Shah Jahan in his tours, did| 



[CH. VI. 

Dara says in the Introduction that 
he got together a number of Sannyasis 
and Pandits residing in Benares, the 
abode of Hindu learning, and well-versed 
in the Vedas and Upanishads, and with 
their help completed the translation of fhe 
Upanishads in six months, on Monday, 
the 26th Ramzan, 1067 A.H. (28th June, 
1657) at his palace, Manzil-i-Nigambodh 
in the city of Delhi. Only once in life did 
Dara’s passion for literary work get the 
better of his filial affection ; because 

not accompany his ailing father who left Delhi in February, 
1657 for Mukhlispur. This absence of Dara can only be 
accounted for by some very urgent work, and this was 
perhaps his pre-occupation with the Upanishads. 26th 
Ramzan, 1067 according to the Calendar was a Sunday; but 
this is immaterial, as we invariably find one day’s difference. 
! have extensively utilised Mr. Mahesh Das's article 
“Unpublished Translation of the Upanishads by Prince Data 
Shukoh** (published in Dr. Modi Memorial Volume, Bombay, 
1930, p. 622-638). By a closer study of the text of the 
Translation l have been able to rectify some inaccuracies on 
the part of Mr. Mahesh Das. This will be discussed in the 
second volume of this work where 1 have printed the full text 
of the Introduction, and the Glossary (tfi yfpfY) and also 
extracts from translations of the Chandogya , Brihaddranyaka, 
Kena t and Chhurika Upanishads (pers. text, p. 141-176), with 
their English versions as specimens. 


though heat and pestilence were depopu¬ 
lating the imperial capital in the summer 
of 1657, and the ailing Shah Jahan had to 
leave the city for a change to Mukhlispur, 
Dara chose to stay back for completing 
this work. 

As regards the nature of the Persian 
rendering, Dara says that he “himself 
rendered into Persian (the Upanikhats 
which is the store-house of the doctrine 
of Unity, ganj-i-tauhid) without any in¬ 
crease or decrease, without any selfish 
motive, sentence for sentence and word 
for word.” 1 

A comparison of any Persian passage 
at random with the published Sanskrit 
text will at once convince the reader of 
the truth of what Dara says about the 
nature of his work. Dara may be accused 
of this much transgression that in a very 
few cases, instead of translating directly 
the cryptic sentences of the original text 
of the Upanishads, he has rendered into 

1 Pers. text, p. 144. 



[CH. VI. 

Persian the commentary of Sankara 1 on 
those passages for the sake of accuracy 
free from ambiguity. It is also interest¬ 
ing to notice his slight adaptation of some 
passages to make things intelligible to 
Muhammadans, for whom particularly 
this translation was meant. He took 
much pains to make his work easily 
intelligible to men of average intellect 
who had no grounding in Hindu mytho¬ 
logy and philosophy. We must say he has 
eminently succeeded in this attempt. The 
Sirr-i-A kbar of Dara Shukoh has not only 
all the merits of a good translation, but 
also the compactness and charm of an 
original work. 

1 As for example in the Brihadaranyak. Vpanishat four 
species of homes are mentioned : Haya ( npq ), Vaji (qTflf} 
Arba ( ®nd Ashwa (q^) assigned for mount respectively 

%> Devas, Ghandharvas, A suras, and men. Dara translates 
the passage thus ; “And the Arabi horse {asp-i-Arabi) which 
on account of its swift speed, is called Haya, takes the angels 
(FerishtShtih) to their destination; Baji, which is a horse of 
the Iraqi breed, is mounted by the Gandharvas; Arba, which 
is of the Kachchi breed is ridden by A suras; and Ashwa, or 
Turki horse carries men to their destination.'' Without affect¬ 
ing the sense Dara has aptly introduced the Arabi, Iraqi, 
Kachchi, and Turki breeds of horses, though unwarranted 
either by the original text or its commentary by Sankara. 


Dara was the first serious student not 
only of Comparative Religion, but also of 
Comparative Mythology in Mediaeval 
India. The most enduring portion of his 
work is his Islamic nomenclature for 
clothing in Muslim garb Hindu ideas, 
Hindu gods, and the bewildering variety 
of beings that figure in Hindu mythology. 
Not to speak of Persians, Muslims of 
every nationality except perhaps the 
Chinese Muslim, will more readily wel¬ 
come the Sirr-i-Akbar of Dara either in 
its Persian original, or in the translation 
of this Persian version into their parti¬ 
cular languages, than any translation from 
the most authoritative English version of 
the Upanishads. No amount of explana¬ 
tion will give a clearer idea of Mahadev 1 
to the Musalman than Dara’s identifica¬ 
tion of this diety with the angel Israfil, 
who, according to Muslim belief, stands 
below the throne ( Arsh) of God, with a 
horn in his hand ; Israfil will blow his 
horn as a signal for Qiyamat-i-Kubra 

1 Pers. text, p. 147. 

154 • DARA SHUKOH [Ch. VI. 

(mahapralaya) when the seven higher and 
seven nether worlds would fold up and 
be resolved into the Primaeval Mist. 

Section 5.—Minor Works of Dara Shukoh. 

Dara Shukoh was an indefatigable 
propagandist, and impelled by a sort of 
missionary enthusiasm, he turned out a 
number of books and tracts on various 
aspects of Sufism during his literary 
career of a little more than 15 years. But 
nowhere do we come across a complete 
list of Dara Shukoh’s works, though Dara 
himself in scattered passages mentions 
“several tracts” written by him; but he 
has not given us even the titles of these 
books. It is quite possible that some more 
books of Dara may come to light in 

Among the minor works of Dara 
Shukoh, Hasanat-ul-Arifin (completed in 
A.H. 1062-1652 A.D.), marks a very 
important stage in the evolution of Dara’s 
religious views and spiritual progress. 
Though the Prince had not yet actually 
stepped outside the bourn of Islam in 



search of the origin of the doctrine of 
Tauhid (oneness of God), his views and his 
attitude towards the Shariyat were about 
this time veering towards those of Mansur 
bin Hallaj. Hasanat-ul-Arifin was written 
by Dara to meet the public criticism 
of his pantheistic views which, in the 
opinion of the orthodox school, were 
altogether un-Islamic. 

In the Introduction to this book Dara 
says: “Sometimes, in a state of ecstasy 
and enthusiasm, I pronounce words which 
only highest truths and knowledge 
permit; certain sordid and vile indi¬ 
viduals, as well as insipid devotees 
because of their narrowness blame me 
and accuse me of heresy and inkar (denial 
of God). It is because of it that there 
came to me the idea of reconciling [lit. 
reuniting] the words of great believers in 
the unity, of saints and of those who have 
acquired the knowledge of the Reality; 

.so that this may serve as a 

convincing argument for [silencing] those 
who are Dajjals under the aspect of 
Christ, Pharaoh with apparent qualities 



[Ch. VI. 

of Moses, Abu Jahal calling himself a 
disciple of Muhammad.” 1 

At the very start of his spiritual life 
Dara imbibed through association with 
the great saint Mian Mir and his frater¬ 
nity—belief in the essential superiority 
of the esoteric to the exoteric interpreta¬ 
tion of Islam, and of the doctrine of 
Hama-u-st (everything is He) to that of 
Hama-az-u-st (everything is from Him). 
Unlike other Sufis he began broadcasting 
his views in several books and tracts on 
Sufism written by himself. At first he 
wrote and spoke with a certain amount 
of caution and reserve; e.g., in his first 
book, i Safinat-ul-awliya, Dara says, “On 
the night of 27th Ramzan, 1049 A.H., at 
the age of twenty-five of the author, this 

book was completed. I have not 

dwelt on great and subtle truths uttered 
by the sages of old, which common people 
do not comprehend. When Shaikh Abu 
Said Kharraj reached Egypt, some people 

1 Hammat-ul'Arifin (Mujtabai Pre«|, Delhi); quoted in Dr, 
Yusuf Husain’s book, L’Inde Mystique au Mayen Age 
(p. 179-180). 



said to him: ‘Why do you not speak 
from the pulpit?’ The Shaikh replied, 
\ ... A discourse on truth to the un¬ 
initiated amounts to slander. 1 ’ ” But 
during 13 years (1639—1652 A.D.) that 
elapsed since the publication of this first 
work of his, Dara met several renowned 
Sufis of a more advanced school; e.g., 
Mulla Shah, Mir Sulaiman Misri, and 
Shah Dil-ruba, 2 and imbibed their extreme 
views. The conviction that now filled his 
heart was so great that it forced its way 
out breaking through every barrier of 
caution and fear of consequence. This 
has perhaps led a Muslim critic of the 
orthodox school to remark that Dara 
Shukoh by writing this book only be¬ 
trayed himself, and in attempting to 
defend himself with his pen the Prince 
acted in a manner less heroic and honour¬ 
able than that of Mansur bin Hallaj, 
Shahabuddin Suhrawardy or Sarmad, 
who died for their conviction without 

1 See Khatima of |£afinat-ul-awliya, p. 216; (Newalkishorc 

2 Hasanat-nl-Arifin, p. 26-36 (Mujtabai Press, Delhi) 



[CH. VI. 

opening their lips in self-defence! Else¬ 
where the same critic sums up his criti¬ 
cism of Dara’s Hasanat-ul-Arifin by say¬ 
ing that he would very strongly recom¬ 
mend this book to those who want to 
study the perversion [lit., ruin] of 
Sufism! 1 

The pantheism of Dara finds a more 
eloquent expression in his Tariqat-ul- 
Haqiqat. 2 This had been the favourite 
theme of Persian Sufi poets for several 
centuries before the birth of Dara. In a 
similar vein Dara writes: , 

“Thou art in the Kaaba as well as 

in the Somnath temple; 

In the convent as well as in the 


Thou art at the same time the 

light and the moth; 

The wine and the cup, the sage 
and the fool, the friend and 

the stranger.” 

1 Sayyid Najib Ashraf Nadvi’s Urdu Introduction to 
R u qqat~i-Alamgir, p. 361-363; footnote^ p. 362 (Published by 
Dar-ut-Mtiaannafin , Azam gar h, UP*). 

2 See L’lnde Mystique au Moyen Age, p. 178. 



“Thou art thyself the rose and the 

amorous nightingale. 

Thou art thyself the moth around 

the light of thine own beauty.” 

Besides the above-mentioned works, 
Dara wrote an interesting Introduction to 
the Persian Translation of a compendium 
of the Joga-Vashishta Ramayana made 
under his superintendence with the title 
Tarjuma-i-Joga-Vashishta in 1656 A.D. 
It runs thus : “When I had gone through 
the Persian translation of this book (the 
Joga-Vashishta), which is attributed to 
Shaikh Sufi, I saw in a dream two digni¬ 
fied figures of calm appearance, one of 
them standing on a higher level than the 
other. I was drawn involuntarily to their 

presence.and Vashishta with 

great affection and graciousness placed 
his hand on my back, and said: ‘Rama, 
here is an earnest seeker of knowledge, 
and a comrade* (lit., brother) of yours in 
true search of the Reality ; embrace him.’ 



[CH. VI. 

Ramchandra held me in his embrace with 
great warmth and love. Then Vashishta 
gave to Ramchandra some sweets which 
I ate out of his hand. After having seen 
this in dream my desire to have this book 
translated became greater than ever; and 
one man from among my servants was 
appointed to translate this work. This 
translation was completed under the 
supervision of the Pandits of Hindustan.” 
An Urdu adaptation of Tarjuma-i-Joga- 
Vashishta made by Maulvi Abul Hasan 
under the title of Minhaj-us-Salikin 
Cnjoys great popularity in Upper India. 

That the philosophical views of Dara 
were rapidly veering towards the Advaita 
Vedantism becomes quite apparent from 
his selection of Sanskrit works for 
translation; e.g., Bhagavad Gita, Joga~ 
Vashishta, and Probodha-Chandrodaya. 
The last one is a drama of unique interest 
written by a Sannyasi named Krishna 
Misra about the year 1065 A.D. This is 
considered as the first attempt in Sanskrit 
literature to demonstrate the inner 
harmony of diverse systems of Hindu 


philosophy. “The play (The Moonrise of 
Wisdom) is an allegory of deliverance of 
the human spirit from the temptations 
and delusions of the world. Vishu-bhakti 
stirs up Discrimination and using the 
Upanishads, Faith, Good Sense, and their 
numerous allies, inflicts a signal defeat 
on Delusion, Love, and Greed, and their 
many attendants. The rise ( udaya ) of 
Wisdom naturally follows (probodha), 
and the human spirit realises its own 
absolute identity with God, renounces 
Action and adopts dispassionate ascetic-, 
ism as the only right rule of life.” 1 The 
Khud-parasti (worship of Self) of Dara 
was the result of this realization of the 
absolute identity of the human spirit 
with God; and the final stage of the evo¬ 
lution of his religion and religious life 
was something like that dispassionate 
asceticism which rejects dogmas and 
rituals of religion as superfluous. 

1 Farqcthar's Outline of the Religion* Literature of India, 


THE INTERLUDE (1654-1657 a.d.) 

Between two signal failures, namely, 
his unsuccessful siege of Qandahar and 
the disastrous War of Succession, three 
eventful years constitute nevertheless a 
happy interlude in the life of Dara 
Shukoh. This period was marked by his 
greatest successes, literary, political, and 
diplomatic, and it was during this period 
that the imperial crown all but touched 
jbis brow, and his golden throne shone by 
the side of the Peacock throne of Shah 
Jahan, with whom he appeared before 
the world as the joint ruler of Hindustan. 
These years, which also synchronised 
with the period of Aurangzib’s Second 
Viceroyalty of the Deccan, were, however, 
years of sullen and treacherous calm- 
only a prelude to the War of Succession. 
Clouds of the impending conflict gathered 
in the distant political horizon which set 
everybody athinking about, the future of 
the empire of Shah Jahan. Though alive 
to the danger, Dara never lost his 


optimism, and having put off thought of 
the evil day, he would in his philosophic 
reverie ^sometimes ramble into the 
presence of Rishi Vashishta and hold con¬ 
verse with him, and sometimes traverse 
the wilderness of the Upanishads in a 
confident search of the Hidden Book 
alluded to in the holy Quran. His friends 
and w T ell-wishers would now and then 
rouse him from his political torpor by 
gentle hints about the hostile designs of 
his brothers, who were unceasingly weav¬ 
ing diplomatic meshes around him. We 
propose to survey briefly those activities 
of Dara during this period which have a 
bearing on the War of Succession. 

Section 1.—Marriages of Sulaiman Shukoh. 

As early as 1646 A.D., when Sulaiman 
Shukoh was only a boy of nine, Dara was 
in correspondence with Mirza Rajah Jai 
Singh for a match between his son and 
a daughter of Rao Amar Singh Rathor 
by a sister of Mirza Rajah. The 
primary motive for such a matrimonial 



[CH. VII. 

alliance was purely political, as we learn 
from the following letter of Dara to 
Mirza Rajah. “As this daughter 1 (of Rao 
Amar Singh Rathor) is born of a sister of 
yours, it is better if she is not betrothed 
there ; had this girl been any other (than 
your sister’s daughter), you might have 
given her in marriage wherever you liked. 
I wush that you and your relatives were 
united by alliance with my son Sulaiman 
Shukoh. I have disclosed this affair to 
you because I look upon you as the most 
sincere well-wisher and a particular 
friend of mine, and regard you as worthy 
of my highest favours.” 2 

Dara spoke out his mind sincerely 
by saying that the greatest recommenda¬ 
tion of the girl in his eyes was her 
relationship with Mirza Rajah, whom he 

1 She was perhaps Indar Kumari, referred to as a widow 
of Sulaiman Shukoh in Akhbarat 20-4. 

2 Dara s letter to Jai Singh, reaching the latter at 
Aurangabad (?) on Safar 24, 1056 A. H.; vide Pers. text, 
p. 122. Aurangabad is clearly a mistake for some other 
place; because in that year, 1056 A.H. (1646 A.D.) Mirza Rajah 
was serving under Murad in Balkh. (Dr. Banarasi Prasad’s 
History of Shahjahan, p. 195). 

sulaiman’ s marriage with indra-kumari 165 

would not like to see united by a matri¬ 
monial alliance with anybody else,— 
apparently with any of Shah Jahan’s 
other grandsons. It appears that this 
negotiation soon resulted in a betrothal of 
the Rajah’s niece with Sulaiman Shukoh. 
The actual marriage, which had been 
postponed for eight years, took place in 
1654 A.D. Urgent political considerations 
seem to have precipitated the celebration 
of this match. It was a reapproachment 
with the powerful Mirza Rajah with 
whom the Prince had had a serious mis¬ 
understanding almost amounting to a 
breach during the third siege of Qandahar. 
Besides, the news leaked out of a secret 
family pact between Shuja and Aurangzib 
made at Agra in December, 1652, when 
Shuja’s daughter Gulrukh Banu was 
betrothed to Sultan Muhammad, the 
eldest son of Aurangzib. As a move 
against this hostile design of his brothers, 
Dara prepared for the celebration of the 
marriage of Sulaiman immediately after 
his return from the siege of Qandahar. 

On April 4, (1654 A.D:) the nuptial 



[Ch. VII. 

ceremony was performed according to the 
strict injunctions of the Shariyat (Canon- 
law). 1 A fortnight later (18th April, 1654) 
the Emperor with his retinue paid a con¬ 
gratulatory visit to Dara’s mansion and 
the ceremony closed with the usual pomp 
and festivity. 

Two years after the marriage with 
Rao Amar Singh’s daughter, Sulaiman 
Shukoh contracted a second marriage 
with a daughter of Jafar Khan’s younger 
brother. In this affair Shah Jahan him¬ 
self seems to have taken the initiative. 
This alliance was partly a compliment to 
the family of Jafar Khan (who had 
married a younger sister of Mumtaz 
DJahal), and partly a concession to the 
feelings of the Muslim nobility in general. 
The girl 2 was brought from Patna, and 
the marriage took place on the night of 
October 26, 1656. 

1 Marriage of Sulaiman, Waris, 86 a; the Emp’s congra* 

r tory visit, ibid 87 a. 

2 Munawwar Bai is referred to in the Akhbarat as another 
wife of Sulaiman Shukoh. 


Section 2.—Dara Shukoh and Maharana 
Raj Singh Sisodia 

Maharana Jagat Singh of Mewar, 
father of Raj Singh, had begun extensive 
repairs to the fortress of Chitor in 
violation of an express condition of the 
existing treaty between the emperor 
Jahangir and Maharana Amar Singh. 
This work of restoration was pushed on 
with greater vigour by his son Raj Singh, 
who ascended the gadi of Mewar on 
October 10, 1652. The new Maharana 
made an unseemly demonstration by 
marching with his army to the imperial 
frontier, and sent a belated contingent of 
his troops under Bhupat 1 (son of Sahasa, 
son of Maharana Pratap Singh), to the 
third siege of Qandahar (1653 A.D.) only 
under pressure. The Emperor, however, 
tolerated these disloyal acts of the rulers 
of Mewar till the affair of Qandahar came 
to a close. 

On 21st May, 1654, the Emperor sent 
a m^gg ^Ba i ei, A bdal Beg with two gift- 

1 Bhupat returns from duty, gets a khiiat with leave to 
return home on 2l«t May, 1654; Wans, 87 a. 



[Ch. VII. 

horses for the Maharana and a farman 
directing him to send immediately to the 
Deccan his contingent of service-troops 
to serve there under Aurangzib. Th© 
real mission of Abdal Beg was perhaps 
to spy out the Rana’s armed strength, and 
the extent of his repairs to Chitor. It 
was reported that most of the old gates 
of Chitor had been restored, and several 
new ones constructed; and that walls 
were being built even in places difficult of 
access. The wazir Sadullah Khan was 
appointed to the command of an expedi¬ 
tionary force numbering 30,000 troops 
and given leave on September 4, 1654 to 
invade Mewar and demolish the fortifi¬ 
cations of Chitor. Twenty days after 
the Emperor accompanied by Dara 
started for Ajmir via Amber, with the 
ostensible object of visiting the tomb of 
Shaikh MuSyhuddln Chishti. 1 A letter of 
Dara to MirzaKajah Jai Singh, written 
on the day of the Emperor’s departure, 
reveals the great anxiety of the Prince 
for the fate of the Maharana: “To-day 

1 Chitor expedition, Warn, 90 b; the Emp’« march, 91 b. 


the Emperor starts for Ajmir and I shall 
pass by near your home and be a guest 
of yours. As a separate army has been 
sent against the territory of the Rana 
and I have, out of kindness and favour, 
always been attentive to the interests of 
the Rana, I wish to represent to His 
Majesty the truth about his loyalty and 
devotion, so that he and his territory may 
be immune from the shock [ asib.~\ of the 
victorious army”. 1 Maharana Raj Singh 
had assembled an army in Chitor ; but 
his better sense prevailed just in time, 
and seeing no other alternative than to 
sue for pardon, he sent a deputation to 

On October 4, 1654 this deputation 
consisting of Rao Ramchand Chauhan, 
Raghodas Jhala, Sanwaldas Rathor, and 
the priest Gharibdas interviewed the 
Prince at the stage of Khalilpur. Dara 
worked hard to prevail upon the Emperor 
to relent, and Shah Jahan at Iasi per¬ 
mitted Dara’s trusty servant Chandra- 

1 Jaipur Records, vide Pers. text p. 129. 



[CH. VII. 

bhan Brahman to proceed to Udaipur for 
settling the affair. Before the arrival of 
Chandrabhan, the Maharana had sent 
Madhusudhan Bhatta and Rai Singh 
Jhala with proposals of peace to Sadullah 
Khan, who was bent on forcing a war 
on the Rana and annexing his territory 
to the imperial domain, naturally re¬ 
sented this intervention of Dara. The 
Rana had no option but to submit to the 
hard terms of the imperial court, namely, 
the cession of parganas 1 Pur, Mandal, 
etc., and agreed to send his son to the 
imperial camp with Dara’s diwan, Shaik 
Abdul Karim, who accordingly rode for 
Udaipur on 2nd November to escort the 
Sisodia prince. On 4th November, the 
Emperor granted away Mandalgarh to 
Rup Singh Rathojy and on 29th of the 
same month, he ordered Arjun, son of 
Bithaldas Gaur, to take effective posses¬ 
sion of Bednur which had lately belonged 
-to the Rana. 2 On the 21st November, 
1654 the eldest son of Rana, aged seven 

1 For details see Ojha's Rajpatana Itihaa, p. 845. 

tWaris, 88 b. 


or eight, arrived at the imperial camp and 
made his salute to the Emperor. As 
the prince had not yet been given any 
name by the Rana, the Emperor gave 
him an auspicious and classical name, 
Sobhag Singh, which however did not 
please his father who changed it to Sultan 
Singh! The wazir had been ordered to 
evacuate Chitor as “the guilt of the Rana 
was forgiven through the intercession of 
the Crown Prince”. 1 Sadullah Khan 
after having demolished the walls and 
fortifications of Chitor during 15 days, 
and done whatever injury he could to the 
possessions of the Rana, rejoined the 
imperial camp on 22nd November. 
Having dismissed the Sisodia prince 
with presents for himself and his father 
{26th November) the Emperor returned to 
Agra on the 17th, December, 1654. 

Thus ended the affair of Maharana 
Raj Singh, who indeed escaped a great 
calamity through the strenuous efforts of 
Dara Shukoh. The Prince in a letter to 

1 Ibid. 



[C H . VII. 

Mirza Rajah Jai Singh writes: “The 
particular kindness and love which I bear 
towards the Rajput race has become 
manifest; the territory and honour of the 
Rana remain intact. Let it be known to 
the whole Rajput race to what extent I 
wish well of them/’ 1 But the political 
speculation of Dara was upset by the 
very act of the Emperor, who had forcibly 
seized some of the paraganas of the 
Maharana as a penalty for his rebellion. 
The ruler of Mewar like the common run 
of man thought less of what had been 
saved than of the little lost to him, inspite 
of the utmost efforts of a friend and 
patron. The Maharana, who had merely 
exploited a noble sentiment of Dara to- 
extricate himself from a tight corner, now 
threw himself unscrupulously into the 
arms of his enemy Aurangzib. Shortly 
after the return of the imperal army 
from Mewar he sent Udaikaran Chauhan 
and Sankar Bhatta on a secret diploma¬ 
tic mission to Aurangzib in the south. 

1 Vide Per*, text, pp. 121-122; the date 1055 in the printed 
text is a misprint; the correct date being A. H. 1064, 

dara’s friendly services TO RAJ SINGH 173 

Aurangzib in return despatched to Udai¬ 
pur two trusty agents of his own, Indar 
Bhat and Fidai Khwajah with a khilat, 
a diamond ring, and an elephant for the 
Maharana. 1 The attitude of the Sisodia 
chief towards Dara revealed to the world 
the futility of building upon sentiments 
which in politics count less than self- 
interest even with the most sentimental 

Section 3.—Dara Shukoh gets the title of 
Shah-i-Buland-iqbal (3rd February, 1655) 

After his return from Rajputana to 
Delhi the Emperor publicly invested the 
Crown Prince with almost regal honours 
on his 66th Lunar birthday, (Saturday, 
3rd February, 1655). Before the darbar 
time the Emperor sent from the royal 
wardrobe a robe of honour sparkling with 
gems and pearls worth Rs. 2,50,000 to the 
mansion of Dara Shukoh. The Prince 
dressed in this robe, came to attend the 

1 Tu)o nUhans of Aurangzib to Raj Singh give details of 
this exchange of envoys and presents between them. See 
Ojha's Rajputana hja itihas, p. 844, footnote 3. 


[CH. VII. 


weighing ceremony, which being over the 
Emperor took off from his head a sar- 
fyand (a fillet for fastening on the turban) 
worth 4r£ lakhs of rupees set with a rose- 
coloured ruby and two big strings of seed- 
pearls, and with his own hand tied it 
on to the head of the Prince. Besides 


this robe of honour and sarband a cash 
gift of thirty lakhs of rupees vyhs made 
to him. The Emperor addressed the 
Prince by a new title Shah-i-Buland- 
Iqbal , and asked him to take his seat on 
a gold throne which had been placed by 
the side of the imperial throne. Dara at 
first hesitated, but being pressed by his 
father he took his seat. In a letter to 
his spiritual guide ( Pir ) Mulla Shah 
Badakhshi, Dara writes, “[After the dis¬ 
tribution of khilats and promotions]. . . . 
.... His Majesty said, ‘My child, I have 
made up my mind not to do any impor¬ 
tant business or decide on any great 
undertaking henceforth without your 
knowledge and without consulting you 

first;.I cannot sufficiently thank 

God for the favour that Allah has blessed 


me with a son like you .... “The 
Emperor”, says Waris, “ordered that the 
nobles and other courtiers should go to 
the palace of the Crown Prince to congra¬ 
tulate him. On 23rd February, 1655, the 
Emperor paid a visit in state to Dara’s 
house to congratulate the Prince on his 
getting the title of Shah. It is fully borne 
out by the history of the last two 
years of Shah Jahans’ reign that the 
Crown Prince had an increasing share in 
the administration of affairs, and except 
in matters of foreign policy his voice was 
all but final in his father’s cabinet. 

Section 4.—Dara Shukoh and Court politics 

Shah Jahan, like every absolute 
monarch, was the personification of the 
State, and his darbar, whether stationary 
in capitals or on the move in camps, was 
the motive-spring of the administrative 

machinery of the empire. Personal 

_ .» 

1 Dara*s letter to Mulla Shah, vide Per®, text p. 21-23. 
This letter supplements the brief notice of this event in the 
Padshah-nama (Waris, % a). As regards date and other details 
the letter fully agrees with the narrative in the court history. 



[Ch. VII. 

influence with the Emperor was a market¬ 
able commodity, which was eagerly sought 
after by a host of clients from every cor¬ 
ner of the empire. Nobody, whether a 
mighty ambassador like Sir Thomas Roe 
or a humble scholar expectant of a few 
acres of rent-free land, could have his 
business done at Court without securing 
a “patron” there and propitiating him 
with presents. Great nobles and vassal 
princes, who kept their agents at Court, 
nevertheless invariably sought a “patron” 
to have their wishes satisfied. The pres¬ 
tige and influence of a “patron” with the 
Emperor were determined by the number 
and status of their clients. Nobles 
inimical to one another, feudatories in 
dispute with their neighbours, and conti¬ 
guous vassal states quarrelling over their 
boundaries, arid even foreign trading 
companies bent on elbowing one another 
out, ranged themselves in hostile groups 
under “patrons” struggling for influence 
at Court, and hence the formation of. 
factions was inevitable. 



There were two main parties at court 
headed respectively by the incapable 
though ambitious Crown Prince, and the 
honest and able wazir Sadullah Khan; 
and between these two the Emperor 
swung like a pendulum being drawn by 
sentiment or self-interest in opposite 
directions with varying force. This 
rivalry between his most beloved son, and 
his most esteemed minister and friend, 
made Shah Jahan almost as unhapy as 
the enmity between Prince Salim and 
Shaikh Abul Fazl embittered the last 
days of Akbar. The Prince hated the 
ability of Sadullah no less than his Sunni 
bigotry. In his jealousy and arrogance, 
Dara used to speak contemptuously of 
Sadullah and his admiring pupil Aurang- 
zib. Long after the wazir and the Crown 
Prince had been united in common dust, 
anecdotes continued to be told about their 
mutual jealousy and the snubbing re¬ 
partees of the ready-witted. Sadullah, and 
even a most malicious and false allega¬ 
tion was made that Dara had poisoned 
the wazir. It was perhaps in allusion to 


the enmity of Dara towards Sadullah and 
his solicitations on behalf of condemned 
criminals and nobles under the Emperor’s 
displeasure—(as we shall notice later on) 
—that Shah Jahan is once said to have 
remarked: “No doubt the Crown Prince 
possesses the resources, majesty, and 
pomp of a King; but he appears to be 
inimical to honest people, being good to 
the bad, and bad to good men.” 1 Aurang- 
zib relates another anecdote, “Dara 
Shukoh was not on good terms with 
Sadullah Khan whom he used to trouble 
and vex: once he said, ‘Great is His 
Majesty’s graciousness to you : from what 
depth to what a height His Majesty has 
elevated you.’ The Khan, ready-witted 
as he was, retorted, ‘In truth it is even 
so: but at first I should have been, on the 
Day of Resurrection, ranked with the 
learned, and now among His Majesty’s 
ministers: let him know who can under¬ 
stand it’.” 2 

Khafi Khan also speaks of Dara’s 

1 Letters of Aurangzib, B. 54; A. 37. 

2 Anecdotes of Aurangzib, F. 212; K. 334. 



enmity to Sadullah, against whom the 
Prince is said to have made an allegation 
to the Emperor to the effect that the 
wazir had assigned to him desolated par- 
ganas yielding a poor revenue while he 
took prosperous ones for himself; 
having learnt this Sadullah sent for the 
agent of the Crown Prince and having 
taken over the parganas ruined by the 
oppressive amils of Para to his own jagir, 
gave him in exchange flourishing ones 
according to the estimate of Para’s 
servant. Within a year or two it was 
found that these very mahals had become 
worse cultivated and poorer in the yield 
of revenue. 1 The behaviour of the Crown 
Prince to Sadullah, so goes another anec¬ 
dote—once drew a sharp reprimand from 
Shah Jahan. One day Tiahara Mai, the 
diwan of Dara Shukoh, presented to the 
Emperor an account-sheet (fare!) showing 
a balance of ten lakhs of rupees due by 
the Treasury to the Prince. The Emperor 
passed it on to Sadullah Khan to 

3 KKafi Khan, p. 738. 



[CH. VII. 

report on it after scrutiny in the office of 
the High Diwan. Sadullah at once re¬ 
marked that firstly such a big sum could 
not be paid from the Treasury, and 
secondly the bill was not in order, because 
a balance had not been struck between 
previous receipts and expenditure, and 
the current account. After the Emperor 
had left the darbar, Dara spoke some 
harsh words to Sadullah Khan, and this 
the Emperor came to learn in the inner 
apartments from the news-sheet of daily 
occurrences forwarded by the inspector 
(:mushrif) of the Hall of Private Audience. 
Shah Jahan immediately penned a letter 
censuring the Prince for his conduct, 

“.Bahara Mai looks to the benefit of 

your household, and Sadullah is there to 
guard my interests (lit., wealth). Cer¬ 
tainly this sheet ought to have been cor¬ 
rectly prepared by your office, and it was 
proper for you to see whether this would 
possibly pass through Sadullah’s hand... 
It is certainly very bad to ill-treat 
servants of the State; to win their hearts 
is praiseworthy”. In the afternoon, the 



Emperor sent to Sadullah Khan a present 
of several pieces (than) of gold embroi¬ 
dered Mahmudi cloth. 1 

Sadullah was a good man only with 
regard to those that would not cross 
his path. Dara’s enmity to Sadullah 
was perhaps a fact (though borne 
out mainly by the testimony of his 
enemies); but this was not due to any 
depravity of the Prince’s heart; it was the 
result of the inevitable clash between 
two ambitious persons disputing for 
mastery over the Emperor’s mind, and 
supreme power at Court. The Crown 
Prince considered Sadullah as much a 
servant of his own as of his father ; while 
Sadullah, incomparably superior to Dara 
in ability, fearless in his honesty, and 
proud beyond his station, would not 
brook the superior airs of the Prince. 

Dara, however, never used his bound¬ 
less influence with his father to injure 
any person, though he often misused it to 

1 Anecdotes of Aurangzib, B. 53 adds : 

“With a cash gift of 3,000 dinars”; A. 46; 

F. 190, substantially identical. 



[Ch. VII. 

benefit many unworthy people. Nothing 
pleased him more than the liberal exer¬ 
cise of the royal clemency to heal a 
wounded heart or to save a life, however 
justly forfeited. He could not resist 
tears—even crocodile tears, and disbelieve 
any pathetic tale of misery concocted with 
skill. So among the clients of Crown 
Prince we find desperate rebels like 
Champat Rai Bundela, dismissed nobles 1 

1 Some notable instances : 

1. Faqir Khan, son of Baqar Khan Najumsani, who had 
for some misconduct, been forbidden the darbar, and dismissed 
from his mansab was reinstated to his former rank of 2-hazari 
zat, 1,000 sawar {6th January, 1654; Waris, 83 b). 

2. Shaikh Farid, son of Qutbuddin Khan, who had for 
some grave offence lost his mansab —was, through the inter¬ 
cession of Dara received back into favour, and given a rank 
qf 3-hazari zat, 2,000 sawar (4th June, 1654; Waris, 87 b). 

3. One very old Muslim grandee of high rank, and enjoy¬ 
ing great favour at Court had lost his mansab , and been 
denied admittance to the darbar for the past eight years and 
two months. On the 11th March, 1655, this old man through 
the intercession of Dara was given back his rank of 5-bazari (?) 
zat, 4,000 sawar, appointed to Sarkar Jaunpur vice Mukarram 
Khan, and presented with an Iraqi horse with gold-saddle 
and an elephant. The name of this old man is missing in 
Sir J. N. SarkaFs MS. of Waris used by me. From the list 
of mamabdars given at the end of this Ms., it appears that 
this man must be Mutaqqid Khan, 4-hazari zat, 4,000 sawar 

dara’s injudicious clemency 


like Faqir Khan, and Shaikh Farid (who 
had been forbidden the Court for grave 
offences), and scoundrels like Malik Jiwan 
stretched out for execution on the plat¬ 
form of the police prefect of Delhi. 

Section 5.—Dara Shukoh and Rajah Prithvichand 
of Srinagar 

The Garhwal principalities sheltered 
within the inaccessible fringe of the 
Himalayas had generally been immune 
from Muslim invasion since the disas¬ 
trous expedition in the reign of the mad 
Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq. The 
Emperor Shah Jahan renewed the enter¬ 
prise in 1036, being lured by the reported 
existence of gold mines in Srinagar, which 
was then ruled by the notorious Nak- 
kati Rani (Nose-cutting queen). Najabat 

who died at Jaunpur on the 12th Zilqada of the 29th Regnal 
Year (Waris, 97 b; 124 a), i.e., about a year after his restoration 

to office. 

4. Malik Jiwan, who afterwards most treacherously 
betrayed the fugitive Dara—had been condemned to death by 
Shah Jahan for rebellion. Dara, intervened and procured a 
pardon for him. 



[Ch. VIL 

Khan (Mirza Shuja, son of Shahrukh 
Mirza), faujdar of Saharanpuv, who was 
nominated to the command of the expe¬ 
ditionary forces, was drawn by the tactics 
of the Rani far into the interior, where 
most of his troops perished of fever. 
Najabat Khan with a miserable remnant 
of his army escaped from the territory of 
the queen with their noses if not with 
their fhonour intact. In 1654 Shah 
Jahan, elated with his recent triumph 
over Maharana Raj Singh, diverted a por¬ 
tion of the army to a fresh attack on 
Srinagar. On 14th November, 1654, 
Khalilullah Khan was given leave from 
the neighbourhood of the city of Ajmir to 
march against Rajah Prithviehand of 
Srinagar with an army 8000 strong (Waris, 
92 b). Aided by Rajahs Saubhagya- 
prakash of the Sirmur Hills and Bahadur- 
chand of Kumaon, the Muslim force pene¬ 
trated into the interior of Srinagar 
territory, and next year took effective 
possession of Dun, above Hardawar. This 
was turned into a fortified base-camp of 
the imperialists, and has since then been 


known as Deradun in popular parlance. 
Khalilullah Khan, whose incapacity was 
well-known, was retained only as the 
nominal commander-in-chief of the army, 
which was now practically put under the 
command of Chaturbhuj Chauhan. How¬ 
ever, the war lingered on for two years, 
and on 20th January, 1656, Qasim Khan 
Mir-atish left Delhi with 4000 horse to 
reinforce the Mughal army at Dun. Rajah 
Prithvichand having despaired of ulti¬ 
mate success opened a long correspond¬ 
ence with Jahanara Begam, protesting 
his loyalty and innocence, and signified 
his willingness to submit if Prince Dara 
Shukoh would intercede for him. He sent 
his son Medini Singh to the Crown 
Prince who, on the 30th July introduced 
him to the darbar. Medini Singh present¬ 
ed on behalf of his father a nazar of 
one thousand ashrafis to the Emperor, 
who graciously pardoned all faults of his 
father, and bestowed on him a rich 
khilat , jewelled armlet ( dast-band ), and a 
Kipchaq horse with a gilt saddle. 



[Ch. VII. 

Section 6.—Deccan politics 
During the years 1654 to 1657, 
Aurangzib’s intrigues and aggressive de¬ 
signs against the kingdoms of Golconda 
and Bijapur wholly engrossed the atten¬ 
tion of the imperial Court. The Deccan 
question sharply divided the militarist 
party of Sadullah and Aurangzib from 
the peace-party of Dara and Jahanara. 
This faction fight at Court which culmi¬ 
nated in the War of Succession, was 
certainly one of the pre-disposing causes 
of that war. Aurangzib had gone to the 
South in 1652 sorely aggrieved at the 
treatment meted out to him by Shah 
Jahan, who had unjustly refused him 
another chance of retrieving his prestige 
at Qandahar. His activities in the Deccan 
had, like every other activity of his 
life, one underlying motive and steadfast 
object; namely to equip himself for the 
inevitable day of contest with his eldest 
brother and to gather resources for that 
struggle. He plainly wanted to force a 
war on the weak and rich states of 

aurangzib’s designs against golconda 187 

Golconda and Bijapnr because a war 
would place him at the head of large 
armies, train his officers, keep his arms 
bright, and provide him with the sinews 
of the coming war of succession. 

Aurangzibs’ greedy eves first fell 
upon the rich territories and utter help¬ 
lessness of Abdullah Qutb Shah of 
Golconda. At first he demanded the 
immediate payment of twenty lakhs 
of rupees as the difference due to the 
rise in the exchange ratio between the 
him and the rupee (on the account of the 
f.iolconda tribute), during the last sixteen 
years (1637-1653!), forbade the ruler of 
Golconda to carry on war against the 
Hindu Rajah of Karnatak (unless, as the 
Prince shamelessly suggested, this inter¬ 
ference was bought off for a price), and 
plotted with Mir Jumla, the wazir of 
Golconda to betray his master’s interests 
and come over to the Mughal service, 
llis ally Sadullah Khan brought the 
Emperor round to sanction this iniquitous 
policy by appealing to his greed. At 
last Aurangzib employed finesse and most 



[Ch. VII. 

reprehensible cunning to ruin Golconda 
by suppressing a very important letter of 
Shah Jahan to Abdullah Qutb Shah, and 
suddenly invaded the territories of 
Golconda. Shah Jahan, as the historian 
of Aurangzib says, “in order to gratify 
Aurangzib” sanctioned only a demonstra¬ 
tion of force to secure the release of the 
family of Mir Jumla, who was claimed 
by strange logic to be an imperial servant! 
But Aurangzib aimed at the very life of 
Abdullah Qutb Shah and the annexation 
of the whole kingdom of Golconda, and 
accordingly instructed his son Sultan 
Muhammad to entrap and murder the 
King of Golconda at a friendly interview, 
by displaying “cleverness, promptitude, 
and lightness of hand”. The Mughal 
army captured Haidarabad and besieged 
the King in the fortress of Golconda. At 
this juncture Dara and Jahanara inter¬ 
vened effectually to save their client, the 
unfortunate Qutb Shah. 

Ever since the time when the rulers 
of Golconda and Bijapur had carried their 
quarrel over the spoils of Karnatak to the 


imperial Court, Dara and Aurangzib had 
been backing opposite parties. Naturally, 
Abdullah Qutb Shah sought the inter¬ 
cession of the Crown Prince to save his 
life and fortune from the machinations 
of Aurangzib. Shah Jahan had played so 
long into the hands of Aurangzib and 
Sad uHah, who had steeled his heart 
against clemency and justice by a sinister 
appeal to his greed, land-hunger, and 
Sunni prejudice. Dara had only to appeal 
to the better sense of the Emperor, and 
place before him the case of the ruler of 
Golconda in its true light. The pendu¬ 
lum now swung towards the peace-party 
owing partly to recovery of the Emperor’s 
innate sense of justice and partly perhaps 
to the exposure of the secret designs of 
his ambitious and unscrupulous son. 
The following letter of Dara to Abdullah 
Qutb Shah throws considerable light on 
this affair. “On the 29th Jamadi-ul- 
awwal (march 15, 1656) Mulla Abdus 
Samad came and brought with him three 
letters (arzdasht) written by Your High¬ 
ness to His Majesty, the Emperor, to my 



[Ch. VH. 

illustrious sister Jahanara Begam, and to 
me. I placed all the three letters before 
His Majesty.who out of gracious¬ 

ness wrote a farman of favour to Your 
Highness and despatched the same to 
Shaista Khan (for delivery);—so that it 
may be made clear to you that the 

Emperor. did not in fact sanction 

a siege of Golconda, and the occupation 
of Your Highness's territory. On the con¬ 
trary, it was desired that they should 
return taking with them, the sons, and 
other members of the family of Mir 
Muhammad Said. 1 

This was not a mean intrigue, no 
stabbing in the back on the part of mali¬ 
cious Dara, as Aurangzib and his blind 
apologists hold without assigning any 
reason. Early in February, an imperial 
letter of pardon (dated 8th February), 
with a robe of honour for Abdullah Qutb 
Shah had been despatched through 

1 Letter dated 2nd jamadius-sani, 1066 A.H. (18th March, 
1656); vide Pers text p. 133; Jainadius-sani in the body of the 
letter is evidently a copyist’s error for ]amadi-ul~atmjOal. 
Abdullah Qutb Shah’s letters to Dara pers. text ibid p. 34-52. 

aurangzib's disappointment 


Aurangzib, who took the liberty to with¬ 
hold it on the plausible ground that it 
would create difficulties in the settlement 
of terms. But in fact it was he who pur¬ 
posely prolonged negotiations so that he, 
like an expert angler, might play his 
game to the finish. Aurangzib, who was 
playing false with the Emperor, stands 
condemned in his own words. “Qutb-ul- 

mulk is now craving pardon.” 

writes Aurangzib to Mir Jumla (early in 
March), “proposing that his mother would 
wait on me and that his daughter would 
be married to mv son. But I wish to 
send him to the wilderness of des¬ 
truction’’. 1 In short, Aurangzib stands 
convicted, out of his own mouth, of having 
practised low cunning and cruel injustice 
for ruinning Golconda. If Dara inter¬ 
vened, even though for a bribe (as his 
enemies allege without any ground), to 
counteract this pernicious influence in 
politics, he cannot be accused of having 

1 Adab , 81 a. Quoted in Sarkar’s History of Aurangzib^ 
Vols. I 6c II, p. 213, f.n. 



[Ch. VII. 

betrayed the best interests of the empire, 
which were far from being identical with 
those of Aurangzib. Another proof of 
Aurangzib’s treasonable conduct is fur¬ 
nished by the fact that he compelled 
Abdullah Qutb Shah to execute a secret 
Ahad-nama (Agreement) to the effect that 
after his death the issue of his 
daughter married to the eldest son of 
Aurangzib, should inherit the whole king¬ 
dom of Golconda to the total exclusion of 
all his other heirs; and this was done 
without the knowledge of the Emperor 1 
who refused to sanction it when it was 
afterwards presented to him for confirma¬ 
tion. Further, Aurangzib defrauded the 
state of greater part of the spoils of 
Golconda over which an unseemly 
wrangle ensued between father and son. 
Even the great historian of Aurangzib 
seems to have been once and once only 
imposed upon by the neatly-written 

1 There is not the remotest allusion to this ahadnama in 
the court history, a fact which throws positive suspicion on 
Aurang2ib*3 conduct; for the marriage of Aurangzib* s ton. see 
Waris, 110 a. 


despatches of Aurangzib and Aurangzib’s 
indignant parade of honesty and con¬ 
tempt of lucre pretending to return to his 
father everything he and his son had re¬ 
ceived as presents from Golconda! 

Baulked of his prey in Golconda, 
Aurangzib turned his eyes on Bijapur, 
whose virtuous and able king Muham¬ 
mad Adil Shah died at this time after 
a prosperous reign of thirty years (1626- 
1656). Aurangzib’s joy at the death of 
this good king overflows through his 
letters to his friends like Mirza Rajah Jai 
Singh. Though Bijapur was an indepen¬ 
dent kingdom and had most faithfully 
observed the terms of peace with the 
Mughal Empire, Aurangzib plotted for 
its destruction. Imperialism, bold and 
avowed, is not so outrageous to our moral 
sentiments as the cloak of cant and hypo¬ 
crisy with which politicians sometimes 
invest it in order to deceive mankind. 
Aurangzib, too, assumed it in order to 
induce his father to sanction a war of 
annexation against Bijapur. He started 
a convenient theory of the illegitimacy of 



[Ch. Vll. 

Ali Adil Shah II and appealed to the 
Emperor not to leave such a kingdom in 
the possession of a bastard, but to annex 
it to the empire for the good of the people. 
In anticipation of the Emperor’s sanction 
of an invasion of Bijapur, Aurangzib 
mobilised his army on its frontier, 
intrigued to win over the wazir of Bija¬ 
pur, and threw his treasury open to buy 
the desertion of Bijapur captains. The 
vacillating Emperor wavered for some¬ 
time; but he ultimately swung towards 
the militarst party now under the lead of 
the new prime minister Mir Jumla, whose 
unchallenged authority in Deccan poli¬ 
tics, and present of matchless diamonds, 
rubies, and topazes to the Emperor, 
brought about the downfall of the peace- 
party under Dara. 1 

Shah Jahan sanctioned a “wholly 
unrighteous” war against'Bijapur on 26th 
November, 1656, giving Aurangzib a free 
hand “to settle the affair of Bijapur as he 
thought fit”. Aurangzib captured the 

1 History of Aurangzib ii 233,- 


strong fort of Bidar after a siege of 23 
days only (29th March, 1657), and next 
laid siege to Kaliani which also surren¬ 
dered on August 1, 1657. 1 The Mughal 
viceroy was reinforced by heavy contin¬ 
gents of imperial troops, and the fall of 
Bijapur itself seemed only a question of 
a few months. Six months after the out¬ 
break of hostilities, when Aurangzib was 
in the full tide of success, the emperor 
suddenly cried halt, made a peace with 
Bijapur without consulting Aurangzib, 
and sent peremptory farmans to Mahabat 
Khan and Rao Satarsal Hada to return to 
the presence with all the Mughal and 
Rajput troops on active duty in the south 
without waiting for the formal leave of 
Aurangzib. The whole affair looked omi¬ 
nously mysterious, and was attributed as 
usual to the intrigue of Dara. Unfortu¬ 
nately at this point the official history of 
Waris comes to a close, and no original 
correspondence between the Crown Prince 
and Bijapur has yet come to light. 

1 Ibid, p. 236, 237, 250. 



Muhammad Salih Kambuh who wrote his 
Amal-i-Salih in Aurangzib’s reign, asserts 
that Adil Shah, unable to make a stand 
against Aurangzib, sent an envoy 
Ibrahim Bichittar Khan to Prince Dara 
Shukoh, and through him sued for 
peace. Aqil Khan Razi, a protege of 
Aurangzib, says that the two imperial 
rescripts (farmans) to Mahabat Khan 
and Rao Satarsal Hada were written “at 
the request” of Dara Shukoh. 1 But this 
•change of policy on the part of Shah 
Jahan is so decisive and stern, and of such 
grave import that Dara’s influence, how¬ 
ever great, cannot wholly account for it. 
In this affair the old Emperor seemed to 
have been swayed more by his dread of 
Aurangzib than by his love for Dara. 
Shah Jahan was ill at ease with 
Aurangzib in whom he saw the image of 
his own guilty self, the youthful Khur- 
ram, hold, astute, and unscrupulous, a 
rebel against his own father and the 
murderer of his eldest brother. He had 

1 Kambuh, 5b; Aqil, 16. 


an instinctive distrust of Aurangzib, and 
hence his vacillating, and sometimes un¬ 
reasonably vexatious attitude towards 
the latter. There was a misgiving in his 
heart that Aurangzib might use the vice¬ 
royalty of the Deccan as a stepping-stone 
to the throne of Delhi, as he himself had 
done during the reign of Jahangir. A 
detter of Shah Jahan to Prince Shuja 
shows that the Emperor was at this time 
seriously contemplating the removal of 
Aurangzib from the Deccan. Before 
Shah Jahan could mature his plan against 
Aurangzib, he fell seriously ill on 6 th 
September, 1657. The news of his illness, 
magnified into death by rumour, gave the 
signal for the commencement of the War 
of Succession. 


Section 1.—Dara’s heresy and the Civil War 

Islam never contemplated the rise of 
a hereditary monarchy within its polity, 
and therefore provided no definite law of 
succession to a kingdom of the faithful. 
On the other hand by refusing any reli¬ 
gious sanction to the universal law of 
primogeniture it weakened the only safe¬ 
guard, however frail, against the arbitra¬ 
tion of the sword. Besides, rebellion had 
lost its odium and disgrace in the house 
of Timur, every number of which consi¬ 
dered himself a Mirza,—a prince with 
the title to rule and to seize the heritage 
of every other. There was no check on 
the personal ambition of princes and 
usurpers in the Mughal empire as in 
every other Muslim State. 

Some people are inclined to think 
that the civil war might have been 

dara’s heresy not a cause of war 199 

avoided if Shah Jahan had not followed 
the policy of drift as regards the educa¬ 
tion of his sons, each of whom developed 
a character and tendencies diametrically 
opposite to those of the others. Thus, 
Dara strayed into the bourn of infidelity, 
Shuja showed a leaning toward Shiasm, 
Aurangzib hardened into a bigoted 
Sunni, while Murad scoffed at every 
form of religion and delighted only in 
wine and slaughter. But the private 
character and religious views of the 
princes were not at all responsible for the 
civil war among them. It is absurd to 
hold that if all the four sons of Shah 
Jahan had grown up equally devout 
Musalmans, the general body of the faith¬ 
ful would have stood by the claim of the 
eldest prince against the pretensions of 
his brothers. Even if Dara had been as 
noble and pious as Ali himself, his 
brothers were sure to get from amongst 
Indian Musalmans more numerous fol¬ 
lowers than those led by Muawwiya 
against the son-in-law of the Prophet. 
The struggle between Dara and Aurangzib 




was not really a trial of strength 
between Hinduism and Islam, though 
more Hindus fought on the side of the 
former, and more Musalmans on the side 
of the latter. If the triumph of Hinduism 
or of Islam had been the issue of the 
contest, the Sayyids of Barha would not 
have been the most faithful supporters of 
Dara, nor would Maharana Raj Singh 
have favoured the cause of Aurangzib. 
We shall elsewhere discuss whether Dara 
was an apostate, a heretic as alleged by 
his enemies. It is enough to say here 
that however he, like many more illus¬ 
trious sons of Islam, might differ from the 
Mullas in the interpretation of the true 
spirit of the prophet’s creed, he lived and 
died a Musalman . 1 It was not Dara’s 
heresy but his lack of worldly wisdom 
and tact that drove nfost of the self- 
seeking courtiers, both Muslim and 

1 Bernier,,, % hostile critic of Dara as he was, says “Born 
a Mahometan he continued to join in the exercise of that 
religion; hut although thus publicly professing his adherence to 
its faith , Dara was in private a Gentile with Gentiles , and a 
Christian with Christians**, (Constable’s Bernier and his Travels „ 
p. 6)* 


Hindu, into the ranks, of his rival’s 

Section 2.—Shah Jahan’s partiality for 
Dara Shukoh 

Shah Jahan’s partiality for Dara, a 
common theme with writers, native and 
foreign, friendly and hostile to him—is 
often alleged as one of the contributory 
causes of the rebellion of the younger 
princes against their father. The Crown 
Prince was looked upon by his younger 
brothers as the drone of the family, spoon¬ 
fed, swaddled in robes of honour and led 
about in state in the Emperor’s suite. 
During the thirty years’ reign of Shah 
Jahan, Dara had not been allowed to stay 
away from Court even for fifteen months. 
Though he had scarcely any achievement 
in arms to his‘credit, his military com¬ 
mand finally rose to 60,000 zat, being 
greater than even the combined com¬ 
mands of all the younger prihces—and 
the same partiality was shown towards 
the sons of Dara; Sulaiman Shukoh was 
the absentee viceroy of Kabul with a rank 



[C H . VIII. 

of 12 -hazari-, even Sipihr Shukoh’s rank 
(absentee governor of Thafcta with the 
rank 1 of 8 -hazari), was higher than that of 
the eldest sons of Shuja and Aurangzib. 
Shah Jahan gave away state jewels, 
horses, and elephants to Dara. He created 
more peers out of Dara's servants, and 
bestowed liberal patronage on Dara’s 
spiritual guides, literary satellites, and 
musicians. 2 

1 Shuja and Aurangzib were both 20-hazaris; their eldest 
sons Sultans Zainyddin and Muhammad being both 7-hazaris. 
For mamab of Princes see Waris, 123 B. 

2 Kavindracharya Saraswati gets Rs. 1,500 at Labor (7th 
Oct. 1651: Waris); Muila Shah Badakhshi, Pir of Dara and 
Jahanara, given Rs. 5,000 on the completion of the fast of 
Ramzan (12th July, 1656; Waris 114 a); Chandrabhan Brahman 
honoured with the title of Rai (9th April, 1656, 108 b); Dam's 
poet, brother of his diwan Muila Salih, gets Rs. 1,000, ‘for 
having strung together with deligence a collection of the names 
4 >f God in Hindawi” (2nd May, 1655; Waris 98 b); musicians of 
Dara get Ra. 2,000 (31st March, 1655, Waris 98 a). Aa regards 
the ennobling of Darn's servants, Waria says “Among the 
servants of Shah Buland Iqbal Muhammad Dara Shukoh, five 
persons had already been created Khans; these were Bahadur 
Khan, deputy-nazim, of the suhah of Kabul (this person was 
Izzat Khan who on the llth March, 1655, was given the higher 
title (?) Bahadur Khan), Sayyid Salabat Khan (son of Sayyid 
Hashim Barha), the deputy-nazim of the subah of Allahabad, 
Mutamaid Khan, Diwan of the Prince, Muhammad Ali Khan, 
the deputy-nazim of Thatta (Sindh), and Barqandaz Khan 


Much, in this way, has been said of 
Shah Jahan’s partiality to Dara. But 
could the impartiality of Shah Jahan 
avert bloodshed? Was it likely that 
equal share in the paternal affection as 
well as the patrimony would have kept 
back the princes from a contest for the 
throne? Shah Jahan followed the path 
which providence seemed to have chalked 
out for him, namely, to give the eldest- 
born his due, and by a happy accident the 
Heir-Apparent happened to be the most 
lovable of his children also. Hence, the 
Emperor acted throughout as the most 
loving and zealous friend and tutor of 
Dara, for whom he seemed to hold the 
empire of Hindustan as a sacred and 
inviolable trust. Once this position of 

(the notorious Jafar), the Chief of the Prince’s Artillery. Be¬ 
sides the above mentioned persons, five more were on this day 
(14th July, 1636) ennobled; Abdullah Beg Najumsani was given 
the title of Askar Khan, Khwajah Muin, the city Magistrate of 
Labor, given the title of Muin Khan, Sayyid Abdur Razzaq, 
the deputy-nazim of Multan, made Izzat Khan, Shaikh Daud, 
faujdar (on behalf of Dara Shukoh) of the country between 
Agra and Delhi—made Daud Khan, and another- official Nahar 
Tamburi made Nahar Khan” (Waris, 166 a). 




Shah Jahan is frankly realized, the charge 
of his having shown partiality to Dara 
at once falls to the ground. He did every¬ 
thing in an honest attempt to do justice 
to his destined heir, and impressing his 
younger sons and the rest of the world 
with the idea that it was as futile to envy 
and emulate Dara as to contend against 
fate. But the trouble arose because the 
younger princes, unable to reconcile 
themselves to their lot, plotted to feed fat 
the grudge they bore to their father and 
eldest brother. Also, Dara’s incompetence 
encouraged every attempt to wrest the 
sceptre from his weak^grasp. 

Section 3.—Relations between Dara and Aurangzib. 

The enmity between Dara and 
Aurangzib since the very beginning of 
their careers was no doubt one of the 
causes of the War of Succession. 
Aurangzib is represented by his bigoted 
advocates as an apostle of fprbearance, a 
miserable victim of the malicious in¬ 
trigues of Dara, whose jealousy and hatred 
of his younger brothers were, it is alleged. 

* auranczib’s grievances against dara 205 

only proportionate to their ability. But 
it appears clear from recorded history 
that it was Aurangzib who first revealed 
the blackness of his heart by the open 
display of spite and venom against Dara. 
We shall briefly review the main incidents 
throwing light on the relations between 
two brothers before the out-break of the 
War of Succession. 

1. On 28th May, 1633, two elephants 
Sudhakar and Surat-sundar were set to 
fight on the sandy plain of the Jamuna 
below the Agra fort. Mounted on horses 
Dara, Shuja, and Aurangzib pushed closer 
to the elephant Sudhakar; the enraged 
animal after having put his opponent to 
flight, turned upon the horse of Aurangzib 
and flung it down. Young Aurangzib, a 
lad of fifteen, showed wonderful bravery 
and resourcefulness, and succoured by 
Shuja and Mirza Rajah Jai Singh, cam* 
out safe and victorious from the 
encounter. £)n this occasion, Aurangzib 
not only gave a “foretaste of his lofty 
spirit and royal contempt for death”, but 
also of his unbrotherly feelings by a 


malicious fling at Dara; “If the fight had 
ended fatally for me”, he said to his 
father, “it would not have been a matter 

of shame. The shame lay in what 

my brothers did”. These are the very 
words which a devoted partisan of 
Aurangzib Hamiduddin Khan puts appro¬ 
priately in his master’s mouth. One 
cannot but admire the courtesy and 
cleverness in this insinuation, using a 
plural number while he clearly meant a 
single person, namely, Dara. Dara was at 
some distance on the other side of the 
elephant, and “could not even if he had 
wished it, have come to Aurangzib’s aid, 
as the affair was over in a few minutes”. 1 

2. As he was the first to strike the 

note of suspicion and envy against Dara, 
so he was the first to offend his father and 
merit public censure, because “misled by 
the wicked counsels of his foolish com¬ 
panions, he wanted to take to the retired 
life of an ascetic, and had also done some 
acts which the Emperor disapproved of” 2 

1 History of Aurangzib, i and U, p. 10. 

I Fad,, ix. 375. 



(1644 A.D.). Hamiduddin clears up this 
obscure statement by an anecdote, sug¬ 
gesting that the prince’s disgrace was the 
outcome of his open jealousy of Dara 
Shukoh. “It is narrated that Dara invited 
his father and three younger brothers to 
see his newly-built mansion at Agra. It 
was summer, and the party was taken to 
a cool underground room bordering on 
the river, with only one door leading into 
it. The others entered, but Aurangzib sat 
down in the door way. To all inquiries 
of Shah Jahan about the reason of his 
strange conduct he gave no reply. For 
this act of disobedience he was forbidden 
the Court. After spending seven months 
in disgrace, he told Jahanara that as the 
room had only one entrance he had feared 
lest Dara should close it and murder his 
father and brothers to clear his own way 
to the throne. To prevent any such 
attempt Aurangzib had (he said) occupied 
the door as a sentinel”. 1 . Whatever might 
be the element of truth in this anecdote. 

Hiatory of Aurangzib, i. and ii. p. 69 



[Ch. VIII. 

none can doubt that it reveals Aurangzib 
as the future murderer of his brothers and 
gaoler of his father, and had Aurangzib 
got his father and brothers in such a trap 
he would perhaps have done what did not 
strike Dara’s mind at all. 

3. During Aurangzib’s governorship 
of Multan and Sindh (1648-1652) some 
unpleasant things took place over the 
affair of Ismail Hut, a predatory Baloch 
chieftain whose territories were situated 
on the border land between Multan and 
Upper Punjab. Ismail Hut was a protege 
of Dara and claimed to be a subject of 
the governor of Lahor. He refused to 
wait upon Aurangzib, the newly appointed 
governor of Multan, producing a letter of 
Dara as a plea (navishtah-i-Dada-bhai-ra 
dastawiz sakhta). It was only a dispute 
of jurisdiction between two viceroys of 
contiguous provinces—a dispute which 
the Emperor justly decided in favour of 
Aurangzib. In ,1652 the province of 
Multan was added to the viceroyalty of 
Dara, who after taking charge of that 
province wrote to the Emperor that the 


servants of Aurangzib had destroyed 
many buildings in the city of Multan and 
burnt and sold away the timber and 
doors. However, Aurangzib effectively 
replied to this charge, referring in support 
of his defence to a report of the news- 
writer of Multan, from which it was 
apparent that after the departure of 
Aurangzib’s servants, the people of the 
city, took courage to commit such depra- 
dations. Whatever might have been the 
faults of Aurangzib, he was certainly 
above such petty acts of vandalism, and 
too severe a master to tolerate such things 
in his officials. A more regrettable 
incident happened when Aurangzib, on 
his way to the Deccan, alighted in the 
neighbourhood of Lahor. Dara’s official 
in charge of Lahor came out of the city 
as if to welcome Aurangzib; but strangely 
enough he rode past the encampment of 
the prince and re-entered the city without 
visiting him. This was a gratuitous insult 
tending to lower the prince in the public 
eye. But Aurangzib certainly did in¬ 
justice to Dara in suspecting that Dara’s 



[Ch. VIII. 

servant had insulted him at his master’s 
bidding; because Dara was at this time 
staying with the Emperor at Kabul. This 
awkward behaviour of Dara’s servant was 
apparently due to indicision whether he 
could go to welcome the prince as required 
by official etiquette without rousing the 
suspicion of his own master. Neverthe¬ 
less, the mischief was done; and the bad 
manners of the servant certainly brought 
odium upon the master. 

4. No two men perhaps differed 
more widely in personal character, tastes, 
and religious outlook than did Dara 
Shukoh and Aurangzib. They somewhat 
resembled in their character and in the 
vehemence of their hatred towards one 
another their English contemporaries, the 
cavaliers and the roundheads. Dara’s 
religious motto was that of Akbar, namely, 
“Peace with all’ (Sulh-i-kul) and as such, 
we may say, his religion was “the parent 
of arts and letters, of wholesome knowl¬ 
edge, of innocent pleasures”,—in short, a 
religion of the cultured salon; whereas 
the creed of Aurangzib partook of the 


austere gloom of the guardroom of God’s 
soldiers, tolerating nothing useless from 
a rough soldier’s point of view, discarding 
every pleasure soft and alluring, sparing 
neither themselves nor others in a fight 
for God’s sake. Dara, though much given 
to study and spiritual contemplation, 
seemed to the outer world equally devoted 
to pleasure, a prince profuse, gay and 
brilliant, and above all with a soft heart 
ready to do any gracious service for a 
little flattery. Aurangzib was essentially 
“a man without music”, always cold, 
sedate, grave, and demure, with religious 
gloom upon a pale and sickly counte¬ 
nance; and like Macaulay’s Italian type 
of the tyrant, he was “of sober diet, as 
constant at prayers as a priest, and as 
heedless of oaths as an atheist”. 

Dara called in derision his younger 
brother, a prayer-loving Mulla ( namazi ); 
and taunted him as a hypocrite, while 
the latter returned the compliment by 
calling him a Kafir, a Mulhid, (polytheist). 
Some orthodox apologists of Aurangzib 
assert that by using these epithets for 


Dara, Aurangzib only echoed the senti¬ 
ment of the age, the sentiment of the 
majority of the 17th century Musalmans 
of Hindustan. In their public lives Dara 
was looked upon as the patron of the 
Hindus, and Aurangzib as the champion 
of Islam. Dara’s first great public act 
seems to have been the use of his influence 
in securing the remission of the pilgrim- 
tax in Allahabad and Benares. We are 
told that a Hindu deputation headed by 
the famous Maratha scholar Kavindra- 
charya 1 Saraswati, waited on the Emperor 
and pleaded their case so eloquently as 
to draw tears from the eyes of Dara and 
Shah Jahan. With the progress of his 
studies in Hindu philosophy and his 
association with Hindu sannya&s and 
yogis his intellectual sympathy for Hindus 
developed into active interest for their 

Aurangzib showed himself a militant 

1 On this occasion the Emperor conferred upon the 
eloquent and versatile scholar the title of SarvavidyfrnidhSn 
( )• Gaekwad’s Oriental Series no. XVII, 

p. iv—v. 


missionary of Islam with genuine con¬ 
tempt for other faiths, which grew in 
intensity with his growing years. During 
his governorship of Gujrat, he destroyed 
the ancient temple of Chintaman and 
vented his fanatical fury by killing cows 
there. He also forbade the export of 
saltpetre from Gujrat to Europe, because 
the young and imaginative Pan-Islamist 
was afraid Jest the Christians should use 
it as ammunition of war for killing devout 
Sunnis like the Ottoman Turks. How¬ 
ever, these actions of Aurangzib were not 
approved by Shah Jahan ; the temple, it 
is reported, was afterwards restored to the 
Hindus. During his second viceroyalty of 
the Deccan he destroyed the temple of 
Khanfle Rai on the Satara Hill* (near 

In his anxiety to back his friends, 
Aurangzib did not hesitate to use his 
influence at court to shut the road of 
justice to Hindus seeking redress of their 
grievances. The following is a typical 
example of his early anti-Hindu bias; as 
revealed in a letter written to his ally 



[Ch. VIII. 

Sadullah Khan: “A Brahmin named 
Chhabila, the qunango of property-tax 
of the city of Bihar had uttered improper 
words with reference to the holy Prophet. 
After investigation and verification of the 
charge* by order of the Emperor, Zulfiqar 
Khan and other officers of the place had 
sent him to hell by beheading him, as was 
required by justice, and purified the place 
defiled for a long time by his impure 
existence. I hope you are aware of these 

Now Mulla Mohan, 1 whose relations 
with me are not unknown to you—has 
written to me that the brothers of that 
accursed misbeliever out of obstinacy and 
bigotry ( taasub) have complained at the 
imperial court against Shaikh Muhammad 
Maula (Maalif), Mir Adil, a brother’s son 

1 “His real name is Muhiuddin; bom in Bihar, he com¬ 
mitted the Quran to memory at the age of nine . . . entered 
the service of the Emperor Shah Jahan and was appointed 
tutor to Prince Aurangzib .... became a disciple of Shah 
Haidar, grandson of Shaikh Wajudddin Gujrati .... resigned 
his service and returned to Bihar. He died in 1068 A.H. 
(1658 A.D.) at the age of 84 years (Ghulam Ali Azad’s Maaair- 
ul-Kiram, p. 43). 


of the above mentioned i.e., Mulla 
Mohan, and Abdul Maani, the Mufti of 
the province of Bihar. So I write this to 
remind you of this affair. As it is proper 
for and obligatory upon all Muslims to do 
their utmost to assert the religion of the 
Prophet, and it is the duty of Kings and 
nobles to protect the theologians {Ulema) 
of Islam in enforcing the injunctions of 
the holy Law, you should exert yourself 
more than your peers to close the door of 
complaint of this wretched tribe to the 
Emperor’s feet and to take care of the 
letters {i.e., explanations) of the guardians 
of the Faith” {Adah. 101a). The whole 
affair looks suspicious ; because had there 
been no irregularities, no genuine 
grievance, the Hindus would not have 
courted danger by carrying their appeal 
to an orthodox Muslim Emperor against 
the powerful local Muslim functionaries 
who were not known for their qualities of 
mercy and forbearance. Aurangzib inter¬ 
fered not for seeing justice done unto 
Muslims but to close the very door of 
justice to the Hindus. Why did the 



[Ch. VIII. 

Ulemas shrink from standing a scrutiny 
of their judgment even by Shah Jahan 
who had the destruction of several big 
temples and the forcible conversion of 
some Hindus to his credit? Neverthe¬ 
less, Aurangzib made less enemies among 
the Hindus than Dara did among the 
bigoted Muslims, because Aurangzib’s 
heart unlike Dara’s, was never on his lips 
nor very often on the point of his pen. 

Section 4 . —Coalition of Shuja, Aurangzib, and 

The three younger princes, drawn 
together by common enmity to Dara, had 
formed an informal defensive alliance 
that grew stronger with the growing 
partiality of Shah Jahan for his eldest 
son. Aurangzib was the soul of this con¬ 
federacy and the connecting link between 
Shuja and Murad. In December, 1652 
Shuja and Aurangzib, contrary to their 
father’s wish, had met at Agra and each 
of them had entertained the other for 
three days, and the alliance was further 


cemented by the betrothal of Gulrukh 
Banu, a daughter of Shuja to Aurangzib’s 
eldest son Sultan Muhammad. Murad 
Bakhsh saw Aurangzib at Do-rahah 
during the latter’s progress through the 
province of Malwa (23rd December, 1652). 
Since then a brisk correspondence 
passed among the confederates through 
Aurangzib’s province and with Aurangzib 
as a sort of secretary to the coalition. 
Shah Jahan never took his youngest son 
Murad Bakhsh 1 very seriously; but he 
greatly suspected the matrimonial alliance 
between Shuja and Aurangzib. The bitter 
correspondence between Shah Jahan and 
Aurangzib over Sultan Muhammad’s 
betrothal, leaves no doubt in our mind 
that Shah Jahan gave to Aurangzib as 

1 Shah Jahan is once said to have remarked that Murad 
Bakhsh cared only for “the nourishment of his body“ (tarn 
parwari). This was however not the whole truth about Murad 
Bakhsh. He was in character a typical central Asian Turk 
somewhat deficient in judgment and address, but endowed 
with great animal courage and bodily strength, always bragging, 
az man fcase Bahadur nist; i.e., there is none braver than 1. 
Murad Bakhsh is regarded as “the black sheep” of the royal 
family. He proved a failure in every work entrusted to him. 




clear and emphatic a hint as decency 
would permit that he would be glad to see 
the betrothal set aside. Shah Jahan also 
tried to win over Shuja by taking him 
into his favour and confidence against 
Aurangzib. He complained to Shuja of 
Aurangzib’s administration as a failure in 
the South, and offered him the viceroyalty 
of the five Deccan subahs if the prince 
would like to have them in exchange of 
Bengal and Orissa. 

Towards the middle of December, 
1657 Murad wrote to Aurangzib a letter 
which was supplemented by an oral 
message of a more secret nature delivered 
by his trusty agent. By a strange coin¬ 
cidence Aurangzib also about the same 
time had written to Murad a letter of 
similar purport supplemented by a similar 
oral message sent through a confidential 
messenger. About a month before (19th 
October, 1657), Murad had despatched 
another letter to Shuja through Aurang¬ 
zib’s province. The object of this secret 
correspondence was to concert measures 
for meeting the critical situation created 

aurangzib's excellent news-agency 219 

*' * 

by the illness of their father and the 
alleged usurpation of Dara. Thus, through 
the initiative of the impatient Murad their 
defensive alliance was turned into an 
offensive one ostensibly against their 
usurping eldest brother. The first act of 
the confederates was to establish a chain 
of postal relays linking Ahmadabad, 
Aurangabad, and Rajmahal for the rapid 
transmission of news. As soon as the 
news of Shah Jahan’s illness reached 
Aurangzib, he took most vigorous 
measures to cut off communications 
between Dara and his allies and partisans 
south of the river Narmada. While 
Aurangzib successfully kept the imperial 
court quite in the dark about his designs 
and movements, he received reports of 
the state secrets at the capital and the 
measures of Dara from his sister 
Raushanara Begam. Even Gauharara, the 
youngest child of Shah Jahan, had her 
ambitions, and she kept Murad regularly 
informed of the activities at Court. 
Besides, Aurangzib had posted in every 
part of Northern India numerous secret 



agents who smuggled urgent news across 
the Narmada to him. 

Apart from a general agreement 
among the three younger princes, there 
was a closer pact between Aurangzib 
and Murad who looked upon Shuja as 
their prospective enemy. As early as 
23rd October, 1657, Aurangzib supplied to 
Murad the key to a cypher to be used in 
their future correspondence. While 
Aurangzib openly condemned Dara as 
a heretic and an idol-worshipper, he 
secretly denounced Shuja as a rafizy or 
heretical Shia to his foolish colleague 
Murad, whom he flattered as most worthy 
of rule and for whose sake he professed to 
be exerting himself. But in order to 
deserve the throne Murad, notorious for 
his irreligion, was advised to pose in 
public as an orthodox Sunni and a 
champion of Islam. “Indeed so wholly 
did Murad enter into Aurangzib’s policy 
of throwing a religious cloak on their war 
of personal ambition, that his letters 
assume a sanctimonious tone calculated 
to raise a smile. Taking a hint 

aurangzib’s PROMISES TO MURAD 221 


from Aurangzib, the gay reveller of 
Ahmadabad poses as the champion of 
Islam; he threatens Dara with extirpation 
as the enemy of the holy faith; he refers 
to his eldest brother as the Mulhid —the 
very term used by Aurangzib and his 
court-historians” (.History of Aurangzib, 
i., p. 302). 

However, Murad had some suspicion 
whether his Pir (guide) in politics was not 
acting towards him on the very same 
formula of “dissimulation” against God 
and man. He pressed Aurangzib to send 
him a solemn deed of agreement stating 
explicitly the terms of the partnership 
between them. Just before their march 
to Northern India Aurangzib, in order to 
lull the rising suspicion of Murad, sent 
him an ahad-nama to the effect that after 
the overthrow of the infidel Dara, Murad 
should get the provinces of the Punjab, 
Sindh, Kashmir, and Afghanistan. This 
document concluded with the pious words 

“.I shall without the least delay 

give you leave to go to this territory. As 




to the truth of this desire, I take God, 
and the Prophet as my witnesses 

Section 5.—The Illness of Shah Jahan 
(S eptember, 1657). 

Shah Jahan, whose health had shown 
signs of a decline during the summer of 
1657, fell seriously ill on 6th September, 
and for seven days nobody except Dara 
and a few high officials in his confidence 
had access to the ailing Emperor. He was 
given up for dead by all but a few well- 
wishers of Dara; many persons refused 
to believe that he was still alive even when 
on 14th September he showed his face 
through the window of his bed-chamber 
to the expectant crowd below. To re¬ 
assure the people, a darbar was held, and 
Dara who “had nursed his father to the 
utmost limit of possibility (which was the 
best form of the worship of God),” was 
rewarded with an increase of rnansab by 
10,000 zat, 10,000 horse do aspah seh- 
aspah, in all 50,000 zat, and an inam of 
two and a half lakhs of rupees. Calling 
to his presence some confidential courtiers 



and the chief officers of the State, he made 
his last will before them, and ordered them 
to obey Dara henceforth as their sovereign 
in every thing, at all times, and in 
every place” (Kambuh 8 b). On 18th 
October the Emperor left for Agra to 
recoup his health. Meanwhile, mischief 
had done its work. The younger princes, 
who were at heart disappointed at the 
news of their father’s recovery, refused in 
public to believe the inconvenient truth 
that Shah Jahan was really alive. They 
suspected every despatch from Court to 
be either a forgery or one written under 
the pressure of Dara. They pretended to 
give credence to the malicious rumour 
that the lean figure that now appeared 
daily at the palace window to receive the 
salute of the people was only an old 
eunuch dressed in the imperial robes 
whom the usurper Dara was passing for 
the deceased Shah Jahan. They began 
a false and most pernicious propaganda 
against Dara, 1 who, they alleged, had 

1 The worst and most absurd allegations against Dara may 
be read in the pages of Bernier (Constable’s Bernier and his 



[Ch. VIII. 

usurped supreme power and made their 
father a helpless prisoner. They would 
not even be dissuaded by the letters 
of Jahanara, who tried to bring about a 
peace among her brothers. As they were 
prepared for war and Dara was not, they 
were unwilling to let slip this opportunity 
of crushing their hated rival once for all. 
The unhappy Emperor saw with conster¬ 
nation the dreaded deluge coming not 
after him but even before his eyes were 

travels, p. 25-26)* His source of information being his Agha, 
Danishmand Khan, a notorious partisan of Aurangzib, the 
account given by him is only a bundle of falsehoods and 
malicious libels which does not deserve even a refutation. 



Section 1. Sulaiman Shukoh’s campaign against 

Shah Shuja (December, 1657—May, 1658) 

Prince Muhammad Shuja, only 
thirteen months younger than Dara 
Shukoh, was a faithful copy of his loving 
grand-father Jahangir with whom he had 
lived till the age of twelve. Sharp in 
intellect, indolent by nature, and volup¬ 
tuous in habits, Shuja was every inch a 
prince in outward and inward graces, and 
and with all his faults an eminently 
lovable character like his grandfather. 
Among the sons of Shah Jahan he perhaps 
represents, in mental and moral equili¬ 
brium as well as in tastes and predilec¬ 
tions, a happy mean between Dara and 
Aurangzib,—being a skilful soldier and 
level-headed politician with that fine 
touch of human sympathy which 

226 Dara shukoh [Ch. IX. 

Aurangzib lacked so sadly. But his 
talents and abilities shone only in flashes, 
while his weaknesses clung about him 
more steadfastly. Shuja’s love of ease 
and enjoyment of the refined pleasures of 
life had no doubt marred his fine capa¬ 
bilities to some extent. But no one can 
take seriously on the authority of 
Aurangzib the alleged remark of Shah 
Jahan that Shuja possessed no other 
quality than enjoying life (juz sayar- 
chashmi sifate na-darad). 1 Bengal, the 
nursery of Shuja’s ambition, became also 
the tomb of his energy. During his 
seventeen years of uninterrupted vice¬ 
royalty there, Shah Shuja and his asso¬ 
ciates had almost been recast both in body 
and mind in the softer mould of Bengal, 
and their swords had grown rusty in their 
scabbards for want of enterprise and 
action in that land of peace, plenty, and 
pestilence. There the Prince had drunk 
the cup of pleasure almost to its lees and 
as a result thereof “small things like the 

1 Letter of Aurangzib, F 38 a. 



Chameli flower escaped his eyes” even at 
fortyone. 1 

Shuja was staying in his provincial 
capital, Rajmahal, when the news.of Shah 
Jahan’s illness, magnified by rumour into 
actual death, reached him. He at once 
crowned himself, and as his preparations 
had been almost completed beforehand, 
the Bengal troops soon entered the 
province of Bihar, co-ordinating their 
march with their war-boats sailing up the 
river Ganges. Pressed hard by Dara, the 
old Emperor very reluctantly consented 
to send an army against Shuja, as he 
laboured under the delusion that his 
farmans (mandates) would be enough to 

1 Bernier’s estimate of Shuja’s character is substantially 
accurate :—"Sultan Shujah .... resembled in many charac¬ 
teristic traits of character his brother Dara; but he was more 
discreet, firmer of purpose, and excelled him in conduct and 
address. He was sufficiently dexterous in the management 
of an intrigue, and by means of repeated largesses bestowed 
secretly, he knew how to acquire the friendship of great 
Omrahs .... such as Jessomseingue (Sic. not Jaswant Singh 
but Mirza Rajah Jai Singh). He was, nevertheless, too much 
a slave to his pleasures; and once surrounded by his women, 
who were exceedingly numerous, he would pass whole days 
and nights in dancing, singing, and drinking wine**. (Bernier’s 
Travels, Constable, p. 8). 




[CH. IX. 

overawe the rebellious princes. However, 
in the last week of December, 1657, Prince 
Sulaiman Shukoh was appointed to the 
command of an army 22,000 strong, with 
Mirza Rajah Jai Singh as his guardian 
and chief adviser. The Emperor looked 
upon this expedition as little more than a 
holiday parade for Sulaiman; but the 
heart of Dara had its own misgivings; he 
deputed all his most faithful and able 
household officers to serve under his son 
on this distant campaign—an ill-advised 
act of impulse without foresight. 

In high spirits Sulaiman Shukoh 
pushed towards Benares by continued 
marches, urging his old guardian to join 
him without delay. 1 But the enthusiasm 
of the officers of the imperial contingent 
was not so keen, because the Emperor had 
at the time of their departure appealed to 
them to avert bloodshed if Shuja could be 
persuaded to retire peacefully from Bihar. 
Dara was eager for swift and decisive 
action, but that was far from the wish of 

1 Jaipur Records, Vide Pers. text, p. 53. 


the Emperor who trembled for the life of 
his rebellious son. Thus the soldiers who 
went to fight did not know whom to 
please, and therefore they could have no 
singleness of purpose. A cautious politi¬ 
cian, Mirza Rajah suspected that Dara 
might possibly in the Emperor’s name 
but without his approval and behind his 
back, dictate to the officers serving against 
Shuja a line of action which was likely to 
compromise their position seriously with 
their master. So, he left at court his son 
Ram Singh as his vakil, who should 
directly report to him the Emperor’s 
instructions. Soon after the march of the 
imperial army Shuja wrote to his father 
and eldest brother offering hollow excuses 
for his action, and asking for the grant of 
Mungir, which formed a part of Dara’s 
province of Bihar. Dara was “prepared 
to give away to brother Shuja the fort of 
Mungir, provided that he agreed to dis¬ 
mantle the fortress and that he and his 
sons did not reside there.” 1 Inspite of 
this reasonable offer of the Crown Prince, 

1 Jaipur Records, vide Pers. text, p. 54. 


and the Emperor’s affectionate pardon of 
his faults, Shuja continued his hostile 
advance and invaded the province of 
Allahabad. Shah Jahan was now sadly 
disillusioned about the real motives of his 
younger sons who, he now found, were in 
league to crush Dara, and bent on fighting 
for the throne before his very eyes. The 
wrath of the old Emperor flared up, and 
his embittered feelings were communi¬ 
cated to Mirza Rajah in a letter in 
which Dara writes, “His Majesty desires 
very much that the severed head of that 
unmannerly ( be-adab) wretch should be 

brought to him.” We might totally 

disbelieve it as an unscrupulous lie 
invented by Dara had it not been said in 
public to Ram Singh, as we learn from a 
subsequent letter,—“With his own holy 
tongue the Emperor said to Kunwar Ram 
Singh;—‘Write to your father that I want 
the head of that unmannerly and worth¬ 
less wretch.I hope the Kunwar 

has certainly written these words to you." 1 

t Jaipur Records, vide Pers. text, pp, 66, 71. 



Dara exhausted his store of compli¬ 
mentary phrases and powers of per¬ 
suasion supplemented by the happy 
auguries of dreams, revelations, and 
astrological forecasts in humouring Mirza 
Rajah Jai Singh. “With the tongue of 
divine inspiration”, writes the Prince, 
“His Majesty said that as Rajah Man 
Singh had conquered and crushed Mirza 
Hakim, God willing, Mirza Rajah will 
crush this unmannerly and luckless 
wretch.” 1 The very next day Dara com¬ 
municates to him more favourable predic¬ 
tions of the Rajah’s success. “Through 
vision (sufistic), and from books of 
astrology (Kutb-i-najum) I learn what by 
divine guidance I firmly believe to be true, 
that this great victory will be achieved 
by that worthiest of the worthy.” 2 Never¬ 
theless, Mirza Rajah remained as stiff and 
coldly formal as before, and his conduct 
even gave rise to suspicions which were 
reported to Court by Sulaiman Shukoh. 
But the Emperor and the Crown Prince 

1 Vide Pers. text, p. 64. 

2 Vide Pers. text, p. 137. 



[CH. IX. 

took Sulaiman to task, and as a proof of 
their own confidence in the Rajah, Dara 
wrote to him, “His Majesty suspects that 
this must have been written out of enmity. 
Therefore my son has been directed to 
have in future the despatchs of news from 
that quarter written by the great Rajah 
himself, so that His Majesty could accept 
them as accurate and authentic.” 1 

Prince Sulaiman Shukoh, a brilliant 
and energetic youth of 22, though 
studiously courteous to his guardian, 
could not be expected to cling to the apron- 
strings of Jai Singh. He asserted his 
position as commander-in-chief of the 
expeditionary forces and by his dash and 
optimism made up for the lack of 
enthusiasm and sincerity on the part of 
his colleagues. By a forced march of two 
weeks he reached Benares with his 
division and halted in that city for three 
days. A bridge of boats was constructed 
over the Ganges in twenty-four hours, and 
immediately afterwards the prince crossed 

1 Vide Pew. text, p. 61. 


over to the other side. There had 
been a race for Benares between the 
uncle and the nephew, because the pro¬ 
gress of the imperial army would have 
been brought to an indefinite halt at 
Benares if Shuja could hold in strength 
the other bank of the Ganges along which 
ran the great military road via Chunar 
to Patna and Rajmahal. Sulaiman 
encamped for a week at Bahadurpur, a 
village two miles east of the right-bank 
head of the Railway Bridge at Benares. 
Here the brave and faithful Ruhela chief 
Dilir Khan, the faujdar of Qanauj, joined 
the imperial army and infused a new 
vigour and confidence among the rank 
and file. 

Meanwhile, Shuja with his army and 
fleet had reached the neighbourhood (25th 
January, 1658), and encamped on a well- 
chosen site inaccessible on account of 
numerous nuUas and thick jungles in 
front and the river Ganges in the rear, 
which was commanded by his war-boats. 
The problem that now confronted the 
imperialists was to force a pitched battle 



[Ch. IX. 

on the rebel army which could not be 
starved out of their strong position 
as they procured their supplies by river. 
Sulaiman became impatient as urgent 
despatches came from Court to finish the 
war on that front. Mirza Rajah had not 
matured any definite plan of action 
and could see no other alternative than 
standing on the defensive. A local Rajput 
chief named Goklat (Gokul?) Ujjaniya 
[i.e., of the Dumraon Zamindar family] 
was tempted with the offer of a mansab 
to employ his men in cutting the jungle 
and stopping the supplies of the enemy— 
a tedious and futile effort which amounted 
to a surrender to Shuja’s waiting game. 
It is, however, interesting to read that 
even after the disastrous Qandahar 
campaign the Crown Prince had not 
become more modest in the estimate of 
his own ability as a soldier, and offered 
at this juncture to teach his own trade to 
Mirza Rajah to whom he wrote, 1 “If you 
have not decided upon anything, make it 
clear to me so that from this place I may 

1 Vide Pers. text, p. 69. 

dara’s instructions TO JAI SINGH 255 

suggest some plan and send instructions 
as to what should be done. At present, 
you should urge Gokul Ujjaniya, the 
zamindar of that place, to send his foot¬ 
men and soldiers in all directions, and 
close the roads of supplies and grain to 
the enemy, and a similar force should be 
sent over to the Benares side for carrying 
on an irregular fight, and closing the 
enemy’s roads for the supply of foodstuff 
.” The next letter of Dara con¬ 
veyed positive orders of immediate action 
and an attack on the enemy’s jungle-clad 
encampment by placing the artillery in 

Well-provisioned by their boats and 
immune from attack, the troops of Shuja 
had been lulled into a careless repose in 
their camp after a few days of alarm and 
vigilance. Inaccessible to man and mos¬ 
quito alike, Shah Shuja was in the habit 
of sleeping till noon (do-pahar). His 
officers also, who had not perhaps for¬ 
gotten to bring their own mosquito- 
curtains (pashsha-khana), slept as comfor¬ 
tably if not as late as their master. There 



[CH. IX. 

were the usual military pickets and night 
watches, but no officers to go the rounds 
to keep the sentries alert. Shuja’s patrols, 
strangers to alarms, and unaccustomed to 
the cold of the chilly midwinter nights 
of Upper India, could hardly be expected 
to be dutiful and vigilant. This could not 
long be cancealed from the spies of 

During the night preceding 14th 
February, 1658 the imperial army was 
ordered to be ready for striking their tents 
and marching to a new site chosen for 
encampment. Early in the morning, 
Sulaiman rode out at the head of a choice 
body of mail-clad horsemen, and suddenly 
fell upon the sleeping troops of Shuja. 
The half-awakened Bengal soldiers ran 
for life in all directions. Shuja hastily 
mounted an elephant and began to shout 
for his captains and men, most of whom 
had already fled. Shuja was no coward 
in the face of danger, but the odds were 
heavy against him. Prince Sulaiman and 
Dilir Khan Ruhela were the first to engage 
Shuja, and soon afterwards Mirza Rajah 



Jai Singh, and Rajah Anirudh Gaur 
closed upon the elephant of Shuja which 
had been slashed in the leg by an intrepid 
imperialist. The plucky mahut drove 
the animal furiously in the direction 
of the fleet and thus saved Shuja from 
imminent capture. The victory of the 
imperialists was complete; the rest being 
butchery and loot. The fleet, without 
heeding the cries of their own fugitives, 
glided away downstream leaving their 
helpless brethren between the devil and 
the deep water. A booty worth two 
krores of rupees fell into the hands of the 

Two nobles, Fazil Khan and Fakhir 
Khan, brought this happy news to the 
Emperor on Saturday, 20th March, 1658, 
and the very next day a gazette of pro¬ 
motions and rewards to the victors of 
Bahadurpur was issued. Though the 
victory was due to the bold initiative of 
Sulaiman Shukoh, the Emperor and the 
Crown Prince judiciously ascribed the 
whole credit of it to Mirza Rajah who was 

now created a 7-hazari. In a letter 




[CH. IX. 

beginning with the vedantic formula 
“Satchidanand” Dara in his habitual vein 
of hyperbole writes, “You have achieved 
what even Rajah Man Singh could not 

have accomplished.Within the last 

100 years such a victory was vouchsafed 
to none else”. 1 But dark suspicions still 
lingered in the heart of the Rajah, who 
complained in a letter that the Emperor 
had given his ears to a malicious accusa¬ 
tion of some person to the effect that the 
Rajah had wilfully let Shah Shuja escape 
from the field of battle. The Emperor 

writes, “.None intimated any 

such thing to me. My confidence in the 
loyalty of the Rajah is so great that 
nobody can have the hardihood to say 
any such thing to me.” 2 

1 Letter No, 17, Pers. text, p. 77. 

2 Farman, dated 4, Farawardin, vide Pers. text, p. 85-86. 
That there waa a widely circulated story of Jai Singh’s treachery 
is borne out by the following words of Bernier : “But all the 
efforts of Jai Singh to prevent a battle (at Bahadurpur) proved 

abortive.It is certain that if Jai Singh and his bosom 

friend belil Khan (Dilir Khan), a pathan and an excellent 
soldier, had not purposely held back, the rout of the enemy 
would have been complete, and their commander probably 
made prisoner. But the Rajah was too prudent to lay hi» 


The circumstances of the hair-breadth 
escape of Shuja lent support to the sus¬ 
picion of collusion on the part of Mirza 
Rajah Jai Singh, who was afterwards 
known to have acted on the proverbial 
dictum of hunting with the hounds and 
running with the hare. At any rate the 
fruits of the victory achieved by the bold 
initiative and exertion of Sulaiman 
Shukoh were lost through the strange 
dilatoriness of Jai Singh. Shuja reached 
Patna in five days, while Mirza Rajah 
took twenty days to arrive there. 
Sulaiman could not move alone as the 
country was unknown and long in the 
occupation of the enemy. Shah Jahan 
justly made a reflection on the conduct 
of the Rajah in a farman, saying that the 
imperial army ought to have arrived at 
Patna in ten days, and had the Rajah 
done so, Shuja could not have carried off 

hands on a Prince of the Blood .... he acted conformably 
to the Mogal’s intentions when he a0orded Sultan Shuja means 
of escape”. (Constable's Bernier, p. 35-36) Bernier was not 
likely to know that Shah Jahan had changed his mind, and 
this connivance on the part of the Rajah was a piece of 



[CH. IX. 

his wealth from that city and made him¬ 
self secure in Mungir. 1 Shuja made a 
stand at Surajgarh, 15 miles south-west 
of Mungir, till the end of March, 1658. 
The imperial army turned his flank by a 
tardy march through the wooded broken 
ground via Jitpur, and occupied city of 
Surajgarh evacuated by the enemy. 
Further east their progress was arrested 
by a newly built wall across the narrow 
plain between the Kharagpur hills and 
the river Ganges. Had Jai Singh shown 
half as much zeal and generalship in the 
pursuit of Shuja, as he afterwards dis¬ 
played in chasing the fugitive Dara 
through the Rann of Cutch, the issue of 
the War of Succession would have been 
totally reversed. While Mirza Rajah, in 
spite of most urgent appeals to finish the 
war with Shuja, was sitting down idly 
before the fortifications of Mungir, 
Aurangzib and Murad had united their 
troops and inflicted a disastrous defeat on 
Maharajah Jaswant Singh at Dharmat 

l Ibid., p. 86. 



(15th April, 1658). When the news of this 
defeat reached the imperial army at 
Surajgarh, Mirza Rajah was jubilant 
at the overthrow of his hated rival 
Jaswant, and perhaps congratulated him¬ 
self on being fully revenged on him and 
his friend and patron, Dara Shukoh. The 
Emperor wrote to him to conclude peace 
with Shuja at once, and come back to 
Agra with all the Rajputs, leaving in 
Bihar Sulaiman Shukoh with the house¬ 
hold troops of Dara. The Rajah wasted 
several days in holding leisurely peace- 
talk and entertaining Mirza Jan Beg, the 
plenipotentiary of Shuja with princely 
hospitality. A peace of status quo was 
concluded and the treaty was formally 
signed on May 7, 1658. 

At last, the army of Sulaiman Shukoh 
began their westward march, and if 
Mirza Rajah and Sulaiman had ridden 
hard with light kit only—as they were 
repeatedly asked to do—they could have 
yet reached Agra in time to take part in 
the battle of Samugarh, fought on May 
29, 1658. But Jai Singh, who was a 


traitor at heart, would not exert himself 
to save Dara, and Sulaiman, hampered by 
confusion and disloyalty in his camp, 
could not leave Mirza Rajah behind 
without risking the dissolution of his 
whole army. Sulaiman, who was still 
marching several stages ahead, arrived 
only as far as Korah, 105 miles west of 
AJJahabad, when the fatal news of 
Samugarh greeted the ears of the ill- 
disguised traitors. Mirza Rajah now 
threw off his mask and prepared to march 
away to Agra leaving poor Sulaiman to 
his fate. This desertion of the Kachchwah 
Chief might have been excused as an act 
prompted by the instinct of self-preserva¬ 
tion, had he not exerted himself shame¬ 
fully to seduce others also from loyalty to 
the unfortunate Dara. Dilir Khan Ruhela 
was prepared to accompany Sulaiman 
Shukoh if the prince would go to Shah- 
jahanpur and trust himself to the loyalty 
of the Ruhelas. Sulaiman accordingly 
ordered a retreat to Allahabad on June 4, 
1658. But meanwhile Mirza Rajah, now 
an active partisan of Aurangzib, succeeded 

jaswant’s defeat at dharmat 243 

in convincing the Ruhela chief of the 
folly of staking his all for a sentiment, 
and exhorted him to quit the sinking 
wreck. With this act of Rajah Jai Singh 
opens that tale of treachery which culmi¬ 
nated in the betrayal of Dara by Malik 
Jiwan. The fate of Sulaiman we shall 
record elsewhere. 

Section 2. The Battles of Dharmat and Samugarh 

Dara had built high hopes on Maha¬ 
rajah Jaswant Singh, who, along with 
Qasim Khan had been sent to Malwa in 
the last week of December, 1657 with 
instructions to hold the line of the 
Narmada against Aurangzib, and prevent 
him from forming a junction with the 
army of Murad. But the Rathor chief 
was only a novice in the art of war in 
comparison with Aurangzib, who to the 
utter dismay of the imperialists, formed 
a junction with Murad’s army on the 
14th April in the neighbourhood of 
Dharmat, only 14 miles southwest of 
Ujjain. Next morning a four hours’ fight 
took place at Dharmat (15th April, 1658) 




[CH. IX. 

in which Jaswant’s inexperience, luke¬ 
warmness of the Sisodia and Bundela 
contingents, and the treachery of the 
Muslim division of the imperial army 
under Qasim Khan gave a decisive victory 
to Aurangzib and Murad. Only with a 
remnant of his Rathor clansmen Jaswant 
fled to Jodhpur, where the crestfallen 
knight is said to have been refused 
reception by his proud and sensitive 
Sisodia queen. Dharmat meant a double 
catastrophe for Dara, who apart from 
losing a battle in Malwa, lost along with 
it all the fruits of Sulaiman Shukoh’s 
victory over Shuja at Bahadurpur. His 
enemies raised their heads on all sides, 
traitors threw off their masks, and even 
friends began to waver in his cause. 

Battle of Samugarh, 29 May, 1658. 

The disastrous news of the battle of 
Dharmat reached Dara on 25th April at 
Balochpur on his journey to Delhi with 
the Emperor. The court immediately 
turned back to Agra, and preparations 
were made in haste to meet the crisis. 



The Emperor threw open the imperial 
treasury and arsenal to Dara for equip¬ 
ping another army to retrieve his fortune. 
Dara now sorely felt the absence of his 
ablest and most trustworthy household 
officers whom he had deputed to serve 
under his son Sulaiman. But Shah Jahan 

was in a distracted state of mind, now 


advising Dara on military affairs and 
writing to Jai Singh to come with all 
haste, now listening to sinister counsels 
of peace suggested by the treacherous 
nobles in Aurangzib’s interests. The 
Emperor still hoped to turn back 
Aurangzib and Murad by diplomatic 
messages; so he urged Dara to avoid war. 
Dara was perfectly right in holding that 
under the present circumstances there 
was no alternative to a vigorous prosecu¬ 
tion of war. But his passions often got 
the better of his discretion, and he is said 
to have taunted those who advised peace 
as faithless cowards, and added sting to 
the insult by telling them that Rao 
Satarsal Hada and Barqandaz Khan (the 
notorious Jafar) would drive the rebels 


back like bares to the south of the 

The plan of campaign outlined by 
Dara was to hold in strength the line of 
the Chambal, prevent Aurangzib from 
crossing at any of the fords of that river, 
and put off any decisive action till the 
arrival of Sulaiman Shukoh’s army from 
Bihar. Accordingly, he sent the advanced 
division of his army to Dholpur with 
instructions to guard the ferries of the 
Chambal and erect batteries and earth¬ 
works at strategic points. If he had 
organised a single flying column under 
some dashing and active officer like 
Rustam Khan Bahadur or Rao Satarsal 
Hada to watch the movements of the 
enemy along the whole line of the 
Chambal, no plan of campaign would 
have been more effective in checking the 
progress of Aurangzib. 

The Crown Prince took leave of the 
Emperor on 18 th May to start for Dholpur 
with the main army. It was a most 
pathetic scene as the old Emperor for the 
last time bestowed gifts and blessings on 



his beloved son with trembling hands, 
and held him long and tightly to his 
bosom in a parting embrace. At last Shah 
Jahan lifted his arms and turning towards 
Mecca prayed for Dara’s victory and 
recited the fatiha (the prescribed Quranic 
verses of victory). Nor was the orthodox 
Hindu tradition omitted. Dara was 
ordered to mount at the very steps of the 
Diwan-i-Am, a chariot presented to him 
for this occasion. With banners unfurled 
and drums beating, and surrounded by a 
most magnificent retinue, the Crown 
Prince marched out of the Palace 
quadrangle in regal pomp and pride of 
war. The lonely Emperor stood leaning 
upon his mace ( asa) and gazed on the 
procession straining his dim eyes to catch 
the last glimpse of his most beloved son. 

Dara reached Dholpur on 22nd May 
and busied himself in strengthing the 
defences at the ferries of the Chambal. 
But Aurangzib turned the rear of Dara by 
fording the river 40 miles east of Dholpur 
on the 23rd May. Consequently Dara 
next fell back towards Agra and encamped 



[CH. IX. 

at Samugarh, 8 miles east of that city. 
On 28th May when the weary and 
straggling advanced detachments of 
Aurangzib’s army were sighted off 
Samugarh, Dara in nervous haste led out 
his troops in full array of battle, but 
strangely enough, without delivering an 
immediate attack on the worn-out troops 
of the enemy, he chose to halt and wait 
for Aurangzib to take the offensive. In 
the evening he in a defeatist mood 
returned to the camp after several hours’ 
meaningless manoeuvre under a terrible 
sun which completely wore out his fresh 
and hearty troops. 

The effective strength of the army of 
Dara was about 60,000 men of all arms, 
and that of the two rebel princes was no 
less than 50,000. But Dara could hardly 
count upon the loyalty and devoted 
service of even half of his army, because 
the nobles of the Foreign party, i.e. Iranis 
and Turanis, in the imperal army were 
extremely jealous of the nobles of the 
Hindustani party, Rajputs, Sayyids of 
Barha and other Hindustan-born Musal- 



mans patronised by Dara. The state of 
affairs in the camp of Dara at Samugarh 
was not unlike the condition of things in 
his siege-camp beneath the walls of 
Qandahar. Above all, the character and 
past record of Dara as a soldier were not 
calculated to inspire any confidence 
among his followers. In contrast with 
Aurangzib he appeared in a very un¬ 
favourable light. Aurangzib had “aged 
in war”, and breathed in life nothing but 
war and intrigue; while Dara had seen 
very little of actual fighting and never 
handled large bodies of men in the face 
of an enemy. Brought up in the soft 
environments of the court, nurtured in 
mysticism and philosophy, given to con¬ 
templation and literary pursuits, Dara 
was a complete contrast to Aurangzib as 
a soldier and man of action. 

Early in the morning of Saturday, 
29th May, Dara Shukoh arrayed his 
army on the loose sandy plain of 
Samugarh in the conventional Mughal 
style. His artillery under the command 
of Barqandaz Khan (Jafar) and Manucci 



[Ch. IX. 

and other European officers, was placed 
in a row in front of the whole line, and 
behind the artillery was posted a strong 
body of infantry armed with matchlocks. 
Next came 500 camels carrying swivel- 
guns, and these were followed by several 
hundred furious war-elephants, almost as 
invulnerable as mail-clad knights. Under 
the shelter of this impenetrable wall of 
defence the rest of the army formed in 
5 divisions was arrayed for action. The 
van was composed of about 10,000 well- 
appointed horsemen, Rajputs and 
Pathans under Rao Satarsal Hada, and 
Daud Khan. Between the centre and the 
van stood 10,000 troops as advanced 
reserve under Kunwar Ram Singh 
Kachchwah, and Sayyid Bahir Khan. In 
the centre the Crown Prince, mounted on 
a tall elephant, took post surrounded by 
3,000 faithful house-hold troops of his own 
and at least twice that number of troops 
of the imperial mansabdars. The right 
wing of his army 15,000 strong was com- 
pased entirely of unreliable Central Asian 
mercenaries, under the command of the 



supple and treacherous Khalilullah Khan; 
and the left wing was commanded by 
prince Sipihr Shukoh and the brave and 
loyal chief Rustam Khan Bahadur Firuz 
Jang. At about noon the two armies came 
into contact with each other, and for an 
hour the artillery on both sides fired from 
too wide a range, producing only much 
noise and a thick veil of smoke and dust. 
Aurangzib’s guns replied very feebly and 
gradually ceased altogether to fire. Dara’s 
formation of battle in spite of its defects, 
was well suited for fighting a defensive 
action, and so was also Aurangzib’s; the 
advantage lying evidently on that side 
which could play the defensive game, and 
tempt the other side to an attack. Either 
owing to his own inexperience or misled 
by the sycophants and traitors around 
him, Dara wrongly concluded that the 
guns of Barqandaz Khan must have put 
Aurangzib’s artillery out of action and 
that the enemy was perhaps afraid of 
attacking his lines; so he decided to 
scatter them by a general attack. Rustam 
Khan with the left wing and Khalilullah 



[CH. IX. 

Khan with the right charged respectively 
a division of Aurangzib’s artillery under 
Safshikan Khan, and the troops of Murad 
on the two wings of the enemy. Having 
met with an unexpected and murderous 
volley at close range from Safshikan’s 
artillery, Rustam Khan followed by ten 
thousand men with drawn sabres swerved 
to the right to attack Aurangzib’s van. 
His path was barred by Bahadur Khan 
and other divisions of Aurangzib’s troops 
which were pushed forward to check the 
onset. For a time Rustam Khan carried 
everything before him and scattered 
Bahadur Khan’s troops. Suddenly the 
kettledrums of Dara sounded victory, and 
the Prince himself with the centre dashed 
forward to support his victorious left 
wing, and riding in the track of Rustam 
Khan fell upon Aurangzib’s Advanced 
Reserve under Shaikh Mir, who was 
pressing Rustam Khan’s exhausted troops 
hard. He put to flight Shaikh Mir’s 
division displaying in action “undeniable 
proof of invincible courage” as even his 



detractors admitted. But he failed to save 
his own left wing, a remnant of which 
had, after the heroic death of Rustam 
Khan, fled under his son Sipihr Shukoh. 
No success, no advantage could, however, 
compensate for this unwise step, namely, 
the evacuation of his position in the 
centre, which “more than all other causes 
put together ruined Dara.” 1 His army as a 
whole was now in the predicament of a 
ship with its rudder broken. His mighty 
formation vanished; his guns stood 
deserted, his matchlockmen were 
scattered, his elephants and camel corps 
remained idle too far in his rear to be of 
any assistance. In short, everything fell 
into confusion and Dara utterly lost 
control of the situation. 

He now deterinined to try his luck 
by attacking the thinned centre of 
Aurangzib; but when about to lead a 
charge against his mortal enemy, the 
news of the death of Rao Satarsal Hada 
and confusion on his right wing turned 

1 Sarkar, i 395. 



[CH. IX. 

him back from the project. So, from the 
extreme left of his line the Prince under¬ 
took to traverse the whole length of his 
front, all the while exposing his own 
flank to the galling musketry and artillery 
fire of the enemy. 

Simultaneously with Rustam Khan’s 
charge, Khalilullah Khan had with the 
right wing of Dara’s army attacked 
Murad’s division which formed the left 
wing of the hostile army. A traitor at 
heart, he made only a show of attack and 
having discharged several volleys of 
arrows at the enemy, retired behind the 
line as soon as he saw Murad Bakhsh 
hotly engaged with the van of Dara under 
Rao Satarsal Hada and Daud Khan. This 
division which was looked upon as the 
“steel edge” of the army of Dara did its 
work most splendidly. During the tumult 
of Khalilullah’s attack on Murad’s troops 
it drove itself like a wedge between 
the troops of Aurangzib and those, of 
Murad. The Rajputs singled out'Murad 
for attack and a fierce fight raged round 
his elephant. It is no exaggeration to say 



that Rao Satarsal and his companions 
fought at Samugarh with the loyalty of 
Napoleon’s Guards at Waterloo. No 
historian can pretend to do justice to the 
heroism of Rao Satarsal at Samugarh 
which a gifted bard 1 of Bundi deemed the 
sublimest theme for his Muse. Not only 
Rao Satarsal but every Rajput cavalier 
that followed him fought trusting “his 
body to the edge of the sword, his mind 
fixed on God, his heart set on the work 
of his master, and his head as it were, 
added to the beads in the rosary (of 
human skulls) of Hara.” 1 The first of the 
heroic band of chiefs who fell was Rajah 
Ram Singh Rathor. 

Rao Satarsal died with his son, his 
brother, three nephews, and the very 

1 Surajmal Mishran, a nineteenth century poet of Bundi 
and author of Vamsa-Bhaskflr, (which may be called the 
Mahabharat of Raiputana) reserved the treatment of this 
episode for a separate treatise which however he did not live 
to attempt, 

i Trorrfv*^ $ *r*f r i 
rto H, w n 

(see Bhushan’s Satrasal-dashak, annotated by Lala Bhagwandin 
Benares Hindu University). 



[CH. IX. 

flower of the Hada clan in their fight with 
Murad, who was ultimately compelled to 
give ground. The remnant of Rajputs 
under their last surviving leader Rajah 
Rup Singh Rathor, fell with unabated 
fury upon Aurangzib, who was now 
moving forward with his centre to 
succour Murad Bakhsh. It was at this 
crisis that Dara hurried from his extreme 
left to reinforce his men. An obstinate 
struggle ensued. As the traitor Khalil- 
ullah had hidden his face, Dara’s van 
now formed his right wing while his left 
wing had ceased to exist. Aurangzib 
engaged the van of Dara, and ordered 
Sultan Muhammad with his own van, 
consisting of 10,000 fresh troops, to attack 
the exhausted and disordered centre of 
Dara. The fight was now too unequal to 
be retrieved by the personal valour of 
Dara and the steadiness of his followers. 
The Rajputs of the van were not only out¬ 
numbered but also out-classed in weapons, 
having only lance, sword, and dagger to 
oppose to their enemy’s rockets and 
volleys of bullets. Rajah Rup Singh 



Rathor died in an attempt to kill 
Aurangzib, and all his Rajputs perished 
fighting against great odds. The traitor 
Khalilullah with 15,000 troopers who did 
not receive even a scratch, put himself out 
of sight altogether. Only a remnant of 
Daud Khan’s Pathans survived, who 
could at best cover his retreat. Dara, 
mounted on his tall elephant, now became 
a target for Aurangzib’s artillery served 
by expert European marksmen. At the 
urgent importunities of his friends the 
Prince dismounted and took a horse. But 
half an hour after the unfortunate Dara 
realised his mistake. Still he held on 
bravely, but those who hitherto survived 
the enemy’s sword were struck down by 
a desolating hot wind which suddenly 
began to blow in their faces. Dara was 
distracted and his resolution gave way 
when he saw his faithful followers dying 
helplessly with cries of “water” on their 
lips, and heard his young son Sipihr 
Shukoh weeping bitterly. Those who 
valued their master’s life more than their 
own, desperately caught hold of the bridle 


of his horse and forced it to take the road 
to Agra. 

None can dispute in the face of these 
facts that Aurangzib as much deserved 
the victory as Dara merited his failure. 
However, Khalilullah’s treachery was not 
perhaps an after-cry raised by the 
imperialists to cover the shame of their 
defeat, as the illustrious historian of 
Aurangzib holds. Who can say what 
would have been the issue of the fight if 
Khalilullah with 15,000 Mughal merce¬ 
naries had not absolutely held aloof on 
that day? If victory was impossible, the 
rout of Dara’s army at least would not 
have been so complete but for treachery 
in his ranks. 

The battle of Samugarh is one of the 
most decisive battles in Indian history 
from the political, moral, and military 
point of view. It meant much more than 
the transfer of the crown of Hindustan 
from one son of Shah Jahan to another. 
Samugarh saw the definite close' of the 
most brilliant epoch of the mediaeval 
history of India which is aptly called the 


Age of Akbar—the age of nationalism in 
politics and culture, the era of Revival of 
Letters and Fine Art. Dara lost at 
Samugarh not only a magnificent army 
but also that optimism and self-confidence 
which sometimes enable great minds 
to triumph over almost irretrievable 
disasters. Dara’s ship was now off its 
anchorage, and the Prince being no pilot 
in stormy seas allowed it to drift whither¬ 
soever Fate would take it. 




Section I .—Flight of Dara Shukoh from Samucarh 
The Crown Prince, now a miserable 
fugitive, after covering two or three kos 
from the battle-field, reached a shady tree 
where he alighted to unlace his helmet 
and sat down under the tree in utter 
prostration of body and mind. He 
refused to move from the place even when 
the terrific roll of the victor’s kettledrum 
was heard nearer and clearer every 
moment. “What is destined to happen”, 
he cried out, “better let it happen now”. 
At last at the importunity of his alarmed 
followers he mounted again, and having 
reached the capital at about 9 p.m., shut 
himself up in his mansion. The whole 
city of Agra appeared like a bewailing 
house of dead, and loud lamentations in 
the inner apartments of Shah Jahan were 
echoed more loudly from the mudwall of 
humblest citizen. Shah Jahan sent a 



request to Dara to come and see him for 
the last time, a pathetic appeal which was * 
as pathetically refused by Dara. The 
crestfallen prince wrote in reply, “Give up 
your wish to see my abashed face again. 
Only I beg your Majesty’s benediction of 
farewell on this distracted and half-dead 
man in the long journey that he has 
before him”. At about 3 a.m., accompanied 
by his wife Nadira Banu, his children and 
grand-children, and with an escort of a 
dozen jaded horsemen, Dara started for 

About five thousand troops, leaving 
Agra in small groups before the invest¬ 
ment of the city on 3rd June by the 
victorious Aurangzib, rejoined the 
standard of Dara Shukoh who reached the 
neighbourhood of Delhi on the 5th June. 
However, Dara still commanded great 
resources, as Shah Jahan had supplied 
him with ample treasures from Agra, 
placed at his disposal the warlike stores 
of the Delhi fort, and urged those who 
retained any love for him to join the 
Crown Prince. Dara busied himself in 



[CH. X. 

raising another army at Delhi, and sent 
instructions to his son Sulaiman Shukoh 
to join him there without delay. But 
events moved too fast for him, and the 
unexpected fall of the Agra fort (8th June, 
1658) within five days of its blockade 
by Aurangzib disconcerted his plans 

Again, flight was the only course 
open to Dara Shukoh. But whither 
should he fly ? To Allahabad or to Lahor ? 
Dara chose to retreat to the Punjab which 
was then ruled by his deputy Izzat Khan, 
one of his few faithful servants. He acted 
on first impulses rather than on mature 
reflection in this matter. He failed to take 
advantage of the new situation brought 
about by Aurangzib’s success which made 
him an enemy of his less successful con¬ 
federate Shuja. No doubt he recog¬ 
nised the importance of an alliance with 
Shuja to whose officers Sulaiman was 
directed to hand over the province of 
Allahabad. Dara lacked boldness of 
diplomacy and political foresight, and as 
such he could not muster sufficient 


courage to trust and unite with Shuja 
to attack Aurangzib from the east and' 
hold him at bay till he should raise an 
army in the Punjab and come to the aid 
of Shuja. 

Dara and Shuja in league in the 
eastern provinces, discontented Murad by 
his own side, rebellious Jaswant in Raj- 
putana, unsubdued Punjab and Kabul on 
the north-west, and hostile Golconda and 
Bijapur in the south, would have rendered 
Aurangzib’s position very critical, though 
the ultimate success of any coalition 
against that able soldier and resourceful 
diplomat was extremely doubtful. But 
Dara decided on retreat to Lahor which 
afforded Aurangzib an opportunity for 
crushing his enemies piecemeal. Perhaps 
the saddest mistake which Dara ever com¬ 
mitted was to ask poor Sulaiman Shukoh 
to do the impossible; namely, to join him 
at Lahor by marching along the foot of 
the Himalayas instead of instructing him 
to fly eastward to the protection of his 
uncle Shuja. 



[CH. X. 

Section 2.—Dara's Prospects in Lahore 

Dara had left Delhi with large quan¬ 
tities of treasure and an army 10,000 
strong on 12th June, and travelling by 
way of Sarhind reached Lahor on 3rd 
July, 1658. On the way he posted his best 
general Daud Khan at the ferry of Taiwan 
with instructions to hold the line of the 
Satlej against the enemy. From Lahor he 
despatched a second detachment of troops 
numbering about 5,000 under Sayyid Izzat 
Khan to reinforce Daud Khan and guard 
the ferry of Rupar on the Satlej. His 
prospects seemed to brighten for a while. 
Within a short time 20,000 troops 
assembled under his banners. Some 
imperial officers from various motives 
joined him, one of these being Rajah 
Rajrup of the Jammu Hills, who offered 
to raise an army from among the Hill 
Rajputs if the Prince would provide him 
.with sufficient funds. Dara, who had been 
the shelter and support of Hindus all 
through his life still pinned his faith to 
the fidelty and valour of Rajputs. The 



unhappy prince readily caught at Raj rap’s 
offer and made much of him. In order 
to attach this Hindu chief to her husband’s 
cause with a most inviolable tie, Nadira 
Banu sent him her milk to taste which, 
according to the notions of the age, placed 
Rajrup in the relation of a son to her. 
Raj rap received several lakhs of rupees 1 
from Dara, went home, and it is notorious 
how he requited the debt of Nadira’s milk 
a year after on the field of Deorai where 
he, as a partisan of Aurangzib, wrought 
the complete ruin of Dara by turning the 
flank of Dara’s position. The devotion 
and loyalty of the European artillery 
officers of Dara stood in noble contrast 
to the perfidious conduct of Rajrup. 
Manucci, an Italian youth barely past 
twenty, had joined the service of Dara as 
an Artillery officer a few months before 
the battle of Samugarh. After having 
passed through a series of thrilling adven- 

1 Storia de Mogor, ii. p. 

Rajrup joined Aurangzib’s army encamped near the bank 
of the Bias on 25 Aug., i.e., 7 days after Dara’s flight from 



[Ch. X. 

tures in the course of his journey in dis¬ 
guise from that lost field to Labor, he pre¬ 
sented himself before Dara again. 

About a month after Dara’s arrival at 
Lahor, Bahadur Khan who commanded 
the van of the pursuing army reached 
the bank of the Satiej. Foreseeing the 
contingency of the seizure of boats on 
the river by the troops of Dara, Aurangzib 
had supplied his general with portable 
boats carried on waggons! Against such 
an enemy Dara had indeed very little 

Finding the greater part of Dara’s 
troops concentrated at Taiwan, Bahadur 
Khan secretly crossed the river in the 
night of 5th August at the Rupar ferry, 
which was negligently held by Dara’s 
men. Two days afterwards the second 
division of the pursuing army under 
Khalilullah Khan also crossed the Satlej 
at Rupar. Compelled to evacuate Taiwan 
and every other ferry on the Satlej before 
the combined forces of these two generals, 
the troops of Dara fell back on Sultanpur 
on the eastern bank of the river Bias. 

dara’s distraction 


The news of this reverse upset Dara’s 
calculations, namely, to hold out at Lahor 
till the advance of Shuja from Bihar or a 
rebellion in Rajputana under the leader¬ 
ship of his ally Jaswant would compel 
Aurangzib to turn back from the Punjab. 

Masum, author of Tarikh-i-Shujai, 
gives a faithful picture of the state of 
affairs at Lahor at this stage : “The prince 
began to waver in mind to be or not to be 
at Lahor; now he would think that he 
should strengthen the city and the citadel 
of Lahor, summon the nobles of the neigh¬ 
bouring districts to his aid, and make a 
last and determined effort; now he would 
think thus : ‘As no ray of hope appears in 
any direction (lit., no scent of good from 
any quarter reaches my nostrils) it is 
better that this half-dead self—which has 
come out safe from the battle—should be¬ 
take itself to such a place where with my 
own eyes I may not witness the slaughter 
of wives and children.” Daud Khan, the 
ablest and most faithful among the 
servants of Dara represented to him that 
the Prince ought not give himself up to 


despair, which, according to the verse 
(of the Quran), has been branded as infi¬ 
delity.’ He proposed that Dara should 
himself stay at Lahor and look after the 
equipment of his forces; and send prince 
Sipihr Shukoh to Sultanpur on the bank 
of the Bias, evidently as the nominal 
commander-in-chief. It was resolved ac¬ 
cordingly that Sipihr Shukoh should go 
along with Daud Khan to oppose the 
van of the army of Aurangzib. But 
Nadira Banu, otherwise a courageous and 
sensible lady and the main prop of the 
sinking spirit of Dara, would not at all 
part with her sole remaining son. Her 
grief over the fate of Sulaiman Shukoh 
burst forth, and the mother completely 
overcame the politician in her. Dara with 
much difficulty persuaded his wife to 
agree to the departure of Sipihr Shukoh. 
But this delay in the march of that prince 
ruined the only chance of holding up the 
van of the pursuing enemy. Daud Khan 
who had taken up his position at Sultan¬ 
pur found it untenable against the united 
forces of Bahadur Khan and Khalilullah 



Khan. So, he fell back upon Govindwal 
on the other side of the Bias, where 
Sipihr Shukoh joined him with rein¬ 
forcements. But it was now too late to 
attack the enemy’s van securely posted on 
the Sultanpur side of the river. Mean¬ 
while Aurangzib himself reached Rupar 
on 14th August and on the receipt of the 
news of the movement of Dara’s troops 
towards Govindwal, sent Mirza Rajah Jai 
Singh with some other officers to reinforce 
the van under Khalilullah Khan. On the 
18th Mirza Rajah and others formed a 
junction with Khalilullah’s troops at Garh 
Shankar, 32 miles west of Rupar where 
they soon heard of Dara’s flight from 
Lahor towards Multan. Dara deemed 
himself scarcely safe with only the Bias 
between himself and Aurangzib. Tt was 
perhaps the fear of having his line of re¬ 
treat cut off that made Dara leave Lahor 
hurriedly. He had recalled Sipihr Shukoh 
to his side and commanded Daud Khan 
to hold out till the enemy would actually 
appear before Govindwal. 

There seems to be little truth in the 



[Ch. X. 

Manucci’s story of the false letter of 
Aurangzib to Daud Khan, which made 
Dara suspicious of the loyalty of Daud 
Khan and was in consequence mainly 
instrumental in driving Dara out of 
Lahor. Though Masum corroborates 
Manucci’s version of affairs, it smacks too 
much of a stock-story. Daud Khan very 
faithfully clung to the company of the 
Prince as far Bhakkar, though we doubt 
very much whether he slew his wives (as 
Manucci and Masum narrate) to remove 
Dara’s unfounded suspicions and free 
himself from all anxiety of the world. 
Had he made such a holocaust of his near 
and dear ones, what on earth could induce 
him afterwards to desert a master for 
whom he was determined to die? It is 
not unlikely that Dara, who found nothing 
but ingratitude and treason about him 
did great injustice to this loyal servant 
of his by suspecting him of being in col¬ 
lusion with Aurangzib. The very fact 
that Daud Khan after having taken leave 
of Dara at Bhakkar returned through 
Jaisalmir to his home in Hissar warrants 



us to surmise that it was perhaps Daud’s 
anxiety for his family in Aurangzib’s 
power that made him desert the lost cause 
of Dara. The author of Alamgir-nama 1 
says that Daud Khan received a khilat 
from Aurangzib in November, 1658, but 
he does not make any mention of 
slaughter of his wives by Daud Khan. 
Masum narrates whatever he heard about 
it in the remote provincial town of Malda 
in Bengal. Manned had been no doubt 
for sometime Daud Khan’s comrade-in- 
arms; but he sat to write down his 
reminiscences when fact and fiction had 
become jumbled up in his failing memory, 
when almost every event connected with 
the career of Dara had already received a 
colour of romance. 

Section 3.—Dara flies through Multan and Sind 

Dara took from Lahor vast treasures 
and numerous artillery, and 14,000 troops 
attracted by his liberality accompanied 
him as far as Multan, which he reached on 

1 Alamgirnama, i. 221. 



[CH. X. 

5th September. But many of his men and 
officers refused to follow him ir< his flight 
further. His army began to melt away 
rapidly, and when he arrived at Bhakkar, 
it was reduced to half in number, and 
that half even was half dead through the 
fatigue of incessant marching. At 
Bhakkar Dara halted for five days and 
deposited a part of his treasure, many of 
the ladies of his harem and his heavy 
pieces of artillery in the fort of Bhakkar, 
which was plentifully supplied with am¬ 
munition and supplies and put under the 
command of his faithful eunuch Basant 
and Sayyid Abdur Razzaq. Manucci and 
other European artillery officers were also 
left there in charge of the guns of the fort. 
Four thousand troops and most of his 
officers including Baud Khan left him and 
returned from Bhakkar to their jagirs. 
Dara himself did not know whither to go; 
to Persia as an exile, or to the gates of 
Agra with the chivalry of Rajputana at 
his back? He marched further down the 
Indus and reached a place 50 miles south 
of Sakkar where begins the road to Persia 


via Qandahar. It was perhaps from this 
place that Dara opened negotiations with 
Shah Abbas II for a safe refuge and help. 
In a letter of Shah Abbas II to Dara the 
Persian king signifies his unwillingness 
to invade Bhakkar till he should meet the 
prince, and informs him that Zulfiqar 
Khan governor of Qandahar, has been 
instructed to take the necessary steps for 
conveying the property of Dara to Persia. 
The fate of Humayun seemed to dog the 
footsteps of unhappy Dara. But Humayun 
was fortunate enough in not having 
Hindustan-born wives and retainers re¬ 
luctant to trust themselves to the power 
of the Persians. 

Aurangzib reached Multan on 25th 
September in pursuit of Dara; but alarm¬ 
ing news of the hostile advance of Shuja 
in the direction of Allahabad turned him 
back from this point. Five days after this 
he turned back from Multan, leaving there 
his generals Saf-shikan Khan and Shaikh 
Mir with instructions to expel the fugitive 
from the province. At Uch these two 
generals divided their forces, and marched 



[CH. X. 

parallel on the opposite banks. The most 
critical stage of the pursuit was the pas¬ 
sage of Dara’s boats under the gun-fire of 
the fort of Sehwan, and the escape of 
Dara’s troops through the narrow defile 
near that fort (2nd November, 1658). 
Safshikan and Shaikh Mir kept up a hot 
pursuit of Dara along the right bank of 
the Indus as far as Thata. There again 
Dara gave the slip to Saf-shikan by cros¬ 
sing the river Indus on 16th November. 
Six days later his pursuers also crossed the 
river, but they lost scent of their game. 
Just then orders arrived from Aurangzib 
recalling them to his presence for equip¬ 
ping an expeditionary force against Shuja. 
Dara now plunged with his army into the 
inhospitable region of the Rann of Cutch 
and after going through unspeakable 
hardships arrived at the capital of the 
Rao of Cutch. The Rao relieved the 
misery of the fugitives in every way and 
bound himself closely to the cause of Dara 
by betrothing his daughter to Sipihr 
Shukoh. Hope and optimism revived in 
the fugitive prince. 



Section 4.—A rift in the cloud 

Dara Shukoh, now a desperate 
gambler in fortune, drew a good omen 
from his unexpected welcome at Cutch. 
After having equipped his small retinue 
for fresh adventure, he crossed over to 
Kathiawad where the Jam of Nawnagar 
honourably received him like a loyal 
vassal. He now cast his looks on the rich 
province of Gujrat, which at this time 
practically owned no master. Gujrat, the 
seat of Murad’s power, was still in the 
actual possession of Murad’s officials who 
nursed wrath and resentment against 
Aurangzib for having so treacherously and 
inhumanly overthrown their master. To 
govern such a province Aurangzib sent an 
equally discontented man, Shah Nawaz 
Khan. Dara now marched upon Ahmada- 
bad with only 3000 troops to try his luck 
there. When he reached the environs of 
the city Shah Nawaz quite unexpectedly' 
came out to welcome him and conducted 
him into the fort. Dara now established 
his court at Ahmadabad; but out of love 




[C H . X. 

and respect for his living father, he neither 
assumed the kingly title nor sat on the 
throne. The only royal prerogative which 
he assumed, and that too at the importu¬ 
nity of Shah Nawaz Khan, was to show 
himself every morning from the state- 
window, (Jharoka-i-darshan). Lured by 
the prospect of liberal pay, an army of 
22,000 troopers soon assembled under 
Dara. He sent a small force under Amina 
Gujrati to wrest the port of Surat from 
Aurangzib’s officials. Amina secured the 
peaceful surrender of the city from 
Aurangzib’s governor Sadiq Muhammad 
Khan, and brought away from it a large 
sum of money, considerable quantities of 
ammunition, and 40 pieces of artillery for 
his master. 

Dara had rendered friendly diploma¬ 
tic services to Bijapur and Golconda which 
but for the support of the Crown Prince 
would have been annihilated by 
Aurangzib in 1656 and 1657. To the rulers 
of these two States, sworn enemies of 
Aurangzib as they were, Dara looked up 
for help in another attempt at retrieving 



his fortune. Indeed, Dara was reported to 
be contemplating a dash for the South, 
and Aurangzib had accordingly warned 
his son Prince Muazzam to be in readiness 
to frustrate such a move on the part of 
his uncle. But the whole of Hindustan 
was suddenly thrown into a strange com¬ 
motion by a false news about the 
defeat of Aurangzib at the hands of 
Shuja and the return of Maharajah 
Jaswant Singh to Jodhpur laden with 
the spoils of Aurangzib’s camp. Dara, 
like most other men, did not doubt its 
authenticity, and he accordingly gave up 
the idea of going to the Deccan. Having 
appointed Sayyid Ahmad Bukhari to the 
charge of Ahmadabad, he started for 
Ajmir by way of Sirohi on 14th February, 
but when he had travelled only three 
stages he was upset by the news of 
Aurangzib’s decisive victory over Shuja 
in the battle of Khajwa (5th January, 
1659). Had he at this stage turned his* 
steps towards the Deccan he could have, 
with the forces at his disposal (about 
20,000 troops, besides artillery), safely cut 



[CH. X. 

his way to the courts of Bijapur and 
Golconda. But Rajputana still lured him 
on. Maharajah Jaswant Singh, who could 
hardly hope for pardon a second time at 
the hands of Aurangzib, was now in open 
revolt against him, and in order to give a 
colour of justice and legitimacy to his 
action he invited the Crown Prince to his 
territory, giving him the most solemn pro¬ 
mises of help. Accordingly Dara preferred 
linking his fortune with that of Jaswant 
to a retreat to the Deccan without striking 
a blow. So he marched rapidly with his 
army to Mairta, 37 miles north-west of 
Ajmir. But there he found no signs of 
warlike preparations, nor of Jaswant's 
coming out to welcome him. The prince 
had sent to Jodhpur a trustworthy Hindu 
agent named Dunichand, who returned 
with a message from Jaswant that it was 
more advisable for the Prince to establish 
himself in Ajmir, which is the heart of the 
Rajput country, and that he would after 
equipping his forces join him in person 
there. Dara with his army now moved 

dara’s letters TO RAJ SINGH 279 

towards Ajmir, 37 miles south-east of 

None indeed had a better claim upon 
the sympathy and gratitude of the Hindus 
than the liberal-minded and generous 
prince Dara Shukoh. And among the 
Hindus, Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar, 
“the Sun of the Hindu race” perhaps was 
most heavily indebted to Dara Shukoh, 
who had shielded him from the wrath of 
Shah Jahan, and saved his principality 
from impending ruin only three years 
before when Shah Jahan had sent 
Sadullah Khan against the Maharana. 

Hurled by cruel fate from the pinnacle 
of fortune to the abyss of misery, Dara 
Shukoh made a touching appeal to the 
Maharana for aid and protection in the 
name of the sacred rites of hospitality 
which a Rajput holds so dear. He writes : 
(After informing the Maharana that he 
had reached Sirohi), “We have entrusted 
our honour to the keeping of the Rajputs 
and we have indeed come as a guest 
( mehman) of the whole Rajput race. 
Maharajah Jaswant Singh has also got 

280 DARA SHUKOH [Ch. X. 

himself ready to join us. You are the 
head of the Rajput race. We have recent¬ 
ly come to know that your son has come 
away from his (Aurangzib’s) side. Such 
being the case we hope that the worthiest 
of the worthy Rajahs ( i.e ., the Maharana) 
would come to our help in liberating Ala 
Hazrat (the Emperor Shah Jahan).... If 
you are unable to come in person, some 
relation of yours should be sent to us with 1 

2000 horse_ 1 (nishan, dated 1st Jama- 

di-ul-awwal 1069 = 15 January, 1659 A.D.). 

But the entreaties of the distressed 
prince found no response from the Maha¬ 
rana. Raj Singh, in spite of all the fame 
and glory that crowned the close of his 

1 Udaipur archieves quoted in Virbinode, ii. p. 432. As 
the style shows there can be no doubt that the letter is genuine?. 
But the date* 1st Jamadi-ul-awwal seems to be a slip or a 
copyist’s error; such slips being not unfrequently met with in 
other letter of Dara preserved in Jaipur. Dara entered 
Ahmadabad on 9th January, 1659 and he stayed for about a 
month before he decided to go to Rajputana; so the correct 
date should be 1st Jamadi-us-sani i.e., 14th February. Sir 
Jadunath Sarkar on the authority of Persian writers gives 14th 
Feb. as the date of Dara’s departure from Ahmadabad. But 
this letter clearly proves that Dara had reached Sirohi not later 
than the middle oF February, 1659. 


career, was like every other Hindu 
chief essentially a man of narrow 
views and of still narrower sympathies. 

Maharana Raj Singh’s resentment 
against the Emperor Shah Jahan for con¬ 
fiscating a few parganas in 1654 made 
him forget that he owed his own salvation 
and the possession of the rest of his 
territory to the powerful intervention of 
Dara Shukoh, who could not secure the 
complete restoration of his possessions 
owing to the opposition of Aurangzib’s 
ally Sadullah Khan. The recovery of 
these parganas became the one absorbing 
thought of the Maharana, who now 
turned to Aurangzib to secure this object. 
Several nishans of Aurangzib preserved 
in the archives of Udaipur give us a clue 
to Aurangzib’s diplomacy in winning 
over the Maharana to his side. In one of 
these, written on the eve of his departure 
from the Deccan, he consents to the 
restoration of four of the confiscated 
parganas, as prayed for by the Maharana; 
in a second letter written after the victory 
of Dharmat he urges the Maharana to 



[CH. X. 

wrest the above-mentioned parganas from 
their present holders, and gives him hopes 
that, God willing, he would make the 
Maharana a greater potentate than even 
Eana Sanga. After the victory of 
Samugarh, Aurangzib flung contemptu¬ 
ously a few more bones at him in the 
shape of the grant of Dungarpur, 
Banswara, Basawar, etc., in order to 
silence the custodian of the interests of 
Hindu race, whose humiliation he was to 
attempt later. 

At Ajmir Dara was passing through 
days of agonising anxiety at the delay of 
Jaswant. A second time Dubin Chand 
•(Dunichand ?) went to Jaswant and came 
back with the same evasive replies from 
him, as the Jodhpur Chief had now 
abandoned the thought of joining Dara. 
At last, poor Dara sent his young son 
Sipihr Shukoh to move the heart of 
Jaswant, but it was to no purpose. 
Maharajah Jaswant Singh broke his 

1 Nlahan a quoted in Virbinode, ii 414. 
1 Alamgimama, p. 311-312. 

jaswant’s conduct criticised 283 

plighted word and turned false to Dara; 
but why? Was the perfidy of Jaswant 
pre-meditated ? 

The whole affair admits of being 
interpreted as a piece pro-meditated 
treachery on the part of Jaswant, who 
evidently used poor Dara as a pawn in 
his diplomatic game to secure from 
Aurangzib a pardon on liberal terms for 
what he had done at Khajwa. To credit 
Jaswant with so much cool deliberation, 
cunning and political sagacity is to mis¬ 
interpret his acts and character. The 
embarrassing act of treachery of Jaswant 
at Khajwa and his fresh enmity to 
Aurangzib for no apparent advantage 
after the latter had forgiven that act, is 
explained only by Jaswant’s love for Dara 
which, throughout the remaining career 
of Jaswant, kept him an ill-concealed 
enemy of Aurangzib, and prompted him 
invariably to acts of treachery against 
that emperor. Jaswant undoubtedly was 
sincere in. his profession of devotion to 
Dara and meant to stand by him through 
thick and thin when he invited Dara to 



[C H . X. 

Rajputana. He actually made some pre¬ 
parations for opposing Aurangzib; but at 
the psychological moment when Jaswant’s 
optimism was giving way to despair at 
the approach of the avenging armies of 
Aurangzib, when sentiment was struggl¬ 
ing with self-interest for ascendancy over 
his heart, there came a letter from Mirza 
Rajah Jai Singh, the wary old decoy- 
bird of Aurangzib: “What can be your 
inducement, (he wrote to him) to 
endeavour to sustain the falling fortunes 
of this Prince? Perseverance in such an 
undertaking must inevitably bring ruin 
upon you and your family, without 
advancing the interests of the wretched 
Dara. From Aurangzib, you will never 
obtain forgiveness. I, who am also a 
Raja, conjure you to spare the blood of 
Ragipous (Rajputs). Do not buoy your¬ 
self up with the hope of drawing other 
Rajas to your party ; for I have means to 
counteract any such attempt. This is a 
business which concerns all the Indous, 
and you cannot be permitted to Jcindle a 
flame that will soon rage throughout the 


kingdom, and which no effort might be 
able to extinguish. If, on the other hand, 
you leave Dara to his own resources, 
Aurangzib will bury all the past in 
oblivion; will not reclaim from you 
the money you obtained at Kadjoue 
(Khajwah); but will at once nominate you 
to the government of Guzarate. You can 
easily appreciate the advantage of ruling 
a province so contiguous to your own 
territories; there you will remain in 
perfect quiet and security, and I hereby 
offer you my guarantee for the exact fulfil¬ 
ment of all I have mentioned .” 1 Only 
an obstinate fool or a heroic martyr could 
hold out againt such tempting offers and 
cogent arguments effectively driven home 
with the bayonet at one’s throat. But 
Jaswant was neither; his moral courage 
and constancy were not equal to his 
valour and noble impulse. Jai Singh’s 
letter stifled the cry of conscience in the 
breast of Jaswant, whom the instinct of 

1 Bernier’s Travels, Constable, p. 86. 



[CH. X. 

self-preservation induced to dishonour 
his plighted word to his princely ally. 

Section 5.—The Battle of Deorai 

Deserted by Jaswant and indeed 
shunned by every Rajput, Dara found it 
impossible even to make a safe retreat 
without giving a fight to Aurangzib. 
Leaving his own family and those of his 
officers at Ajmir, Dara led his small 
army out to the pass of Deorai, situated 
H miles south of Ajmir, a little to 
the east of the Rajputana-Malwa Rail¬ 
way line. There he took a strong posi¬ 
tion with the city of Ajmir in his rear 
and his two flanks guarded by two long 
inaccessible ranges of hills, the Bithli 
and Gokla. He fortified this line in front 
by running “a low wall south of his 
position, from hill to hill across the 
valley, with trenches in front and re¬ 
doubts at different points. The entire 
line was divided into four sections, each 
under a different commander with 
artillery and musketeers. On the right at 
the south-western corner of his position, 


close to the hill of Bithli lay trenches of 
Sayyid Ibrahim (surnamed Mustafa 
Khan, and Jani Beg (Dara’s Chief of 
Artillery) with a thousand barqandazes 
besides other troops. Next came the 
trenches of Firuz Mewati, and beyond 
them, on a hillock over-looking the pass 
were mounted some big guns. Here, at 
the centre of lines stood Dara with his 
staff. On his left the line was continued 
by the third section of the trenches com¬ 
manded by Shah Nawaz Khan, and 
Muhammad Sharif Qalich Khan, and 
fourth section under Sipihr Shukoh at the 
south-eastern corner adjoining the hill of 
Gokla.” 1 

On 11th March Aurangzib halted one 
mile from Deorai, his progress being 
arrested by the fortified trenches of Dara. 
That very night, a dashing officer of 
Aurangzib silently occupied a mound 
midway between the two armies. Next 
morning an obstinate fight took place for 
four hours over the possession of this 

X (Hiztory of Aurangzib , Vols. I & II, p. 506). 



[CH. X. 

mound ; but under cover of the fight the 
artillery of Aurangzib was dragged up the 
mound which compelled Dara’s troops to 
retire behind their lines. In the afternoon 
of 13th March, 2000 steel-clad cavalry of 
Dara came down upon the pickets of 
Aurangzib and gave a good account of 
themselves in a skirmish with the enemy. 
The traditional Mughal tactics of attack 
along all the fronts proved a failure 
against the entrenched lines of Dara. The 
perfidious Rajrup, who had tasted Nadira 
Banu’s milk as a most solemn pledge of 
his devotion to Dara, now offered to 
accomplish what none else could do. His 
followers had discovered an unguarded 
path for ascending the back of the Gokla 
hill in the rear of the left flank of Dara. 
Towards the evening of 14th March, 
Rajrup sent a body of his hardy 
mountaineers behind the Gokla hill to 
climb up the narrow track while he him¬ 
self attacked Shah Nawaz Khan’s lines on 
the left flank of Dara. One thousand 
cavalry sallied out from Shah Nawaz 
Khan’s trenches to engage Rajrup. But 


in accordance with a preconcerted plan 
Aurangzib’s officers had concentrated the 
greater part of their troops opposite the 
enemy’s left flank which they were de¬ 
termined to carry at any cost. An obsti¬ 
nate cavalry action was fought in front 
of Shah Nawaz Khan’s trenches. The 
troops of Dara never fought so well, nor 
did Dara and his officers ever show so 
much coolness and judgment as on this 
day. But Dara was out-generalled; 
Aurangzib had massed his troops 
against the left flank of Dara and now 
made a concentrated attack on it. Jai 
Singh, Dilir Khan and Shaikh Mir bore 
down upon the troops of Dara who had 
come out to attack and, after one hour’s 
persistent charges by cavalry, dis¬ 
lodged them from their position and 
pushed forward in reckless fury to 
the edge of Shah Nawaz Khan’s trenches. 
About the same time Raj rup’s infantry 
toiling up the Gokla hill appeared on 
the crest of the hill in the rear of Shah 
Nawaz Khan. Then the troops of 
Aurangzib, flushed with the certainty of 



[CH. X. 

coming victory, attacked the trenches of 
Shah Nawaz with fresh vigour. To com¬ 
plete the disaster, a cannon-ball from 
Aurangzib’s battery killed Shah Nawaz 
outright. Still the battle raged fiercely 
and the troops of Dara fought with the 
most obstinate valour. Of the attacking 
party Shaikh Mir was killed by a bullet 
and Dilir Khan received an arrow-wound. 
Dilir Khan’s Pathans, now reinforced by 
the Rajputs of Mirza Rajah Jai Singh 
practically annihilated the left flank of 

Dara had done his best throughout 
the day to maintain the unequal contest. 
From his position in the centre he 
watched carefully every pha&e of the 
battle and sent timely reinforcements to 
the trenches of Shah Nawaz Khan. His 
troops could have yet repulsed the attack 
but for the panic created by the sudden 
appearance of Raj rap’s infantry in their 
rear. They now gave up all hopes and 
considered it suicidal to prolong the 
struggle. Dara realised the situation too 
clearly to tarry longer in that untenable 


position. Accompanied by his only sur¬ 
viving general Firuz Mewati and his son 
Sipihr Shukoh, he, at about 8 p.m. (14th 
March), took the road to Gujrat via 
Mairta. What had appeared to be a rift 
in the cloud proved only the treacherous 
golden tint of evening clouds. 


Bernier depicts Shah Nawaz Khan as a double- 
faced traitor, who kept Aurangzib regularly in¬ 
formed of all the designs of Dara and asserts that 
Dara owed his misfortune to his putting too much 
trust in Shah Nawaz Khan. But this is perhaps a 
baseless calumny against the old man. In fact had 
not Shah Nawaz Khan thrown himself whole¬ 
heartedly into the interests of Dara and stood by 
him to the last, Dara would either have been made 
a prisoner at Ahmadabad or compelled to retire 
disappointed from Gujrat. We find no reason to 
suspect the fidelity of Shah Nawaz to Dara till his 
death. The story of the treachery of Shah Nawaz 
Khan like that of Aurangzib's corrupting the 
artillerymen of Dara who fired blank shots is only 
the usual cry of the defeated party. According to 
Iswardas Nagar, who had no reason to exaggerate 
the number of slain in the army of Aurangzib, 




[CH. X. 

5,000 men were killed on the side of Aurangzib. 
Data lost perhaps fewer men because he fought on 
the defensive behind trenches. There was some 
slaughter after the capture of the left wing lines of 
Dara by Dilir Khan and Jai Singh; but the dark 
night soon put a stop to it. How are we to account 
for such heavy casualties in the army of Aurangzib 
if Dara’s artillery which was most busy, had fired 
only blank shots? Had Dara’s artillerymen been 
corrupted, Aurangzib’s army would not have been 
held back for two days. 

As regards the death of Shah Nawaz Khan, 
Bernier says that the head of Shah Nawaz was either 
cut off by Dara himself “or, as it is thought more 
probable, by the swords of persons in Aurangzib’s 
army, who, being secret partisans of Dara, felt 
apprehensive that Shah Nawaz Khan would denounce 
them, and make mention of the letters they had 
been in the habit of writing to that prince.” 
(Bernier’s Travels, p. 87). There is hardly a grain 
of truth in these bazar-gossips. According to one 
account, which Sir Jadunath Sarkar has accepted, 
the body of Shah Nawaz was blown away by a 
cannon ball (Hist, of Aurangzib) fqbal~nama~i- 
Alamgiri says that he was killed by the sword of 
a soldier of Aurangzib. 

Bernier tells another absurd story: “I shall 
simply state that the first shot was scarcely fired 
when Jesseingue (Jai Singh) placing himself within 

berier’s account of the battle 293 

the sight of Dara, sent an officer to inform him that 
he must instantly quit the field. The poor prince, 
seized with sudden fear and surprise, acted upon 

his advice.” Bernier evidently knew very 

little of the battle of Deorai. After the overthrow 
of his left wing Dara required no friendly advice 
of Jai Singh to leave the field. In anticipation of 
a sudden reverse of fortune, he had kept the inmates 
of his harem mounted on elephants throughout the 
last day of the battle (14th March, 1659) on the 
bank of the Anna-Sagar lake in charge of the trusty 
eunuch, Maqbul. 

We can only accept as true what Bernier 
actually saw and not what he heard from his Agha, 
Danishmand Khan, or from boastful and imaginative 
partisans on either side. 


Section I.—Dara’s flight from Ajmir 

Having travelled without a halt all 
the night of 14th March, 1659 and the 
whole of the next day, Dara and his party 
arrived at Mairta in Jodhpur territory in 
the evening of the 15th March. With only 
2000 troops and one faithful general, 
Firuz Mewati, Dara left Mairta that very 
night, and covering 30 miles a day, fled 
southward for Gujrat by way of Par and 
Bargaon. Six days behind him came 
his pursuers, Mirza Rajah Jai Singh 
and Bahadur Khan with an army of 
20,000 troops. Three days after Dara 
had left the territory of Jodhpur, 
Jaswant received orders from Aurangzib 
to capture the fugitive. Accordingly 
he joined Mirza Rajah Jai Singh in 
the march towards Ahmadabad. The 
orders of Aurangzib to Mirza Rajah 
were explicit that he must not return 

JAI singh’s pureuit of dara 


without Dara, dead or alive. The military- 
genius, energy and forethought displayed 
by Jai Singh during the pursuit of Dara 
through Gujrat and the Rann of Cutch 
stand in glaring contrast with the same 
Rajah’s slackness and ill-concealed in¬ 
difference in the chase of Shuja from 
Bahadurpur to Mungir. The story of the 
relentless pursuit of Dara by Mirza Rajah 
Jai Singh as described by contemporary 
European and Muslim writers and fully 
borne out by his own despatches to 
Aurangzib ( Haftanjuman) gives a direct 
lie to Bernier’s statement that Jai Singh 
purposely held back from making a pri¬ 
soner of Dara during his flight to Siwistan. 
In fact, Jai Singh entered into this inglo¬ 
rious work with some ardour and zeal, 
■and not without betraying a deep personal 
hatred. Far from conniving at Dara’s 
escape, he spread a net work of diplomacy 
to entrap the unhappy prince. “Jai Singh 
sent off letters to the princes and 
zamindars in every direction to bar 
Dara’s path—to Sirohi and Palanpur in 
the south, Dairwara (Dailwara, 9 miles 



[Ch. XL 

north of Udaipur) in the south east, to 
princes of northern Kathiawar and Cutch 
and the zamindars of Lower Sindh, and 
to the officers of Gujrat. Thus it was that 
that everywhere Dara found enemies 
warned of his coming and ready to seize 
him.” 1 

With his little band of faithful 
followers worn out by fatigue and thirst 
and hemmed in on all sides with bands 
of ferocious Koli robbers, Dara reached 
with difficulty a place 48 miles north of 
Ahmadabad on 29th March. But the 
letters of Jai Singh had done their work. 
Dara’s officer who had been sent to 
Ahmadabad returned with the news 
that Dara’s governor Sayyid Ahmad 
Bukhari 2 had been imprisoned by the local 
civil and military officers and that the 
entry of the Prince to Ahmadabad would 
meet with determined resistance. Bernier, 
who accidentally fell in with the party of 

1 History of Aurangzib, Vols. I & II, p. 525. 

2 Bernier’s statement that Dara’s governor at Ahmadabad 
was won over by Aurangzib is contradicted by the Persian 


29 7 

Dara and was made to accompany the 
prince in the capacity of a physician, thus 
describes the miserable plight of Dara: 

“I had now been three days with 
Dara, whom I met on the road by the 
strangest chance imaginable; and being 
destitute of any medical attendant, he 
compelled me to accompany him in the 
capacity of a physician. The day preced¬ 
ing on which he received the governor’s 
communication, he expressed his fear lest 
I should be murdered by the Koullys 
(Kolis), and insisted upon my passing 
night in the Karavan-serrak (Sarai), 
where he then was. The cords of the 
Kanats or screens, which concealed his 
wife and women (for he was even without 
a tent) were fastened to the wheels of the 

carriage wherein I reposed.I 

mention the circumstances as a proof of 
the low condition to which the fortunes 
of the Prince were reduced. It was at 
break of day that Governor’s message was 
delivered, and shrieks of the females drew 
tears from every eye. We were all over¬ 
whelmed with confusion and dismay, 



[Ch. XI. 

gazing in speechless horror at each other 
at a loss what plan to recommend, and 
ignorant of the fate which awaited us 
from hour to hour. We observed Dara 
stepping out more dead than alive, speak¬ 
ing now to one, then to another ; stopping 
and consulting even the commonest 
soldier. He saw consternation in every 
countenance, and felt assured he should 

be left without a single follower. 

Dara felt anxious to retain me in his 
service, especially as one of his wives had 
a bad wound in her leg; yet neither his 
threats nor entreaties could procure for 
me a single horse, or camel; so totally 
destitute of power and influence had he 
become! I remained behind, therefore, 
because of the absolute impossibility of 
continuing the journey, and could not but 
weep when I beheld the prince depart 
with a force diminished to four or five 
hundred horsemen.” 1 

On 30th March Dara resumed his 
flight in a westerly direction and entered 

1 Bernier; 89-91. 



the Kari district, trusting himself to the 
honour and good faith of a Koli Robin 
Hood named Kanji (Kanhoji). The 
afflicted heart of the prince was soothed 
by the conduct of this Hindu outlaw in 
whom he found knightly sentiments purer 
and loftier than what the flower of Rajput 
chivalry had displayed during the last 
month. Moved to pity by the distress of 
the outlawed Heir-Apparent of Shah 
Jahan, the robber chieftain safely escorted 
him to the boundary of Cutch. Mean¬ 
while, Gul Muhammad Khan with 
50 horse and 200 musketeers, whom Dara 
had left in charge of Surat, joined his 
party. Dressed in a tunic of thin linen 
and wearing slippers worth 8 annas and 
accompanied by an equally miserable 
retinue, the prince started from Viram- 
gaon, and after crossing the waterless 
waste of the Lesser Rann, again entered 
Bhuj, the capital of his former friend, the 
Rao of Cutch, But Dara now found the 
chief a changed man, whose mind had 
been worked up by the letters of Jai 
Singh “full of hopes and threats.” The 


Rao not unreasonably declined to harbour 
the fugitive in his dominion, which was 
certainly beyond his power. He however 
entertained the prince and his party for 
two days and then escorted him to the 
northern boundary of his island, where 
begins the terrible salt marsh of the 
Greater Rann. In the beginning of May, 
1659, Dara re-entered Sindh but found his 
path ahead at Badin blocked by an officer 
of Aurangzib. 

Dara, stricken down by “the slings 
and arrows of outrageous fortune”, now 
instinctively felt that he had come to the 
end of his life’s journey. Indeed, the net 
of Aurangzib was fast closing round him. 
In front of him lay the traitor Khalilullah 
Khan, who had marched down from 
Multan to Bhakkar in order to baffle any 
attempt of Dara to join his trusty slave 
Basant, who was most gallantly defending 
the fortress of Bhakkar against great odds. 
Behind him Jai Singh was crossing the 
Great Rann with the strung up energy bf 
a hunter in sight of the game. The Rajah 
had marched 80 miles without halting 

JAI singh’s pursuit of dara 301 

over a roadless and waterless salt marsh, 
travelling at night by moonlight and with 
lighted torches when the moon set. The 
only course now open to Dara was to 
cross the Indus and flee to Persia via 

Section 2.—Dara’s adventures among the 
Trans-Indus tribes 

On the eastern bank of the Indus even 
Firuz Mewati, who had so long followed 
the fortune of Dara with rare constancy 
and fidelity, took leave of the prince. 
Dara, with his last faithful officer Gul 
Muhammad crossed over to the other 
bank of the Indus and entered the Baloch 
tribal territory. The fugitives were 
plundered and ill-treated by the Chandi 
tribe; but the Maghasis, who were enemies 
of the Chandi tribe, gave a hospitable 
welcome to Dara and offered to escort him 
with his family to Qandahar. But fate 
decreed it otherwise. Dara’s wife Nadira 
Banu and the other women of his harem 
shuddered at the idea of entrusting their 
honour to ferocious Baloches, and worse 


still to be dragged into the harem of the 
licentious Shah of Persia. Dara had to 
give way particularly because of the 
delicate condition of the health of Nadira 
Banu who had been long suffering from 

Dara’s mind also changed; hope again 
conjured up before him the vision of the 
Peacock Throne which might perchance 
be yet recovered. He formed the plan of 
raising an army with the help of some 
powerful tribal chief in the trans-Indus 
region for relieving the fort of Bhakkar 
which was still holding out, and then 
marching into Afghanistan, held by a 
friendly governor Mahabat Khan, the 
younger. The prince eagerly seeking an 
ally among the border tribes recalled to 
his mind an incident of his happier days 
when he had saved the life of an Afghan 
predatory chief, Malik Jiwan, 1 who was 

1 Masum describes the incident as follows :— 

"The governor of Multan arrested him (Malik Jiwan) lor 
committing a dangerous crime and sent him to court. The 
Emperor (Shah Jahan) wanted him to be thrown under the feet 
of an elephant and put to death by being inflicted the worst 



now castellan of the fort of Dadar, 9 miles 
east of the Indian end of the Bolan Pass. 
He appealed to Malik Jiwan for help and 
refuge in the name of humanity and 
former friendship. Malik Jiwan was a 
typical frontier Pathan, a compound of 
the Turk and the Jew, a mixture of 
ferocity, pride, and cupidity. Disregard¬ 
ing the offer of the friendly Mirza of the 
Maghasi to escort him to Qandahar, Dara 
left their protection and started with his 
party for Dadar. 

Section 3.—Death of Dara’s wife, 

Nadira Banu Begam 

Though the unfortunate Dara had 
lost the crown of Delhi at Samugarh, he 
felt as if the royal fortune of Hindustan 
was yet accompanying him through every 

tortures. One of the friends of that zamindar was in the 
service of Dara Shukoh and enjoyed the confidence and 
intimacy of the prince. One day in an opportune (lit. delight¬ 
ful) moment he submitted to the prince the facts of Malik 
Jiwan*s affair and begged and wept much for his pardon. 
The prince melting at the tears of his servant, gave him his 
word to secure his release. Next day, the prince put the 
whole affair before the Emperor, saved the doomed one from 
that perilous situation and made him, upon whose head ought 



[Ch. XI. 

adventure as long as his beloved wife 
Nadira Banu was by his side. Like a 
phantom of Hope she sustained the sink¬ 
ing spirit of her husband in the darkest 
hours of adversity and suffering, and 
urged him forward to manly exertion for 
retrieving his fortune. She had long been 
ailing of dysentery ; but Dara could never 
dream that she would, unlike his mother 
Mumtaz Mahal, die without seeing better 
days. But the end of Nadira drew near 
and before the party of the prince reached 
Da-dar she breathed her last (6th June, 
1659). The grief and misery of the 
bereaved prince exceeded all bounds; 
“The bright world grew dark in the eyes 
of Dara Shukoh. He was utterly be¬ 
wildered. The pillars of (his) judgment 
and prudence all at once shook and fell 
down.” 1 It is hardly an exaggeration to 

to have descended the sword of justice, the recipient of royal 
favour. Through the kindness of Dara Shukoh that rejected 
one (coming out as it were) from beneath the elephant’s feet* 
mounted the back of the elephant, and started homeward in 
safety and honour.” (Tarikh-i~Shujai, 13%; 140 a). 

1 Tarikh-i-Shujai, Ms. 140. 



say that she was to her husband his 
consort, counsellor, and disciple in one, 
and by taking her away God took 
away his all. But could the disconsolate 
prince have foreseen what was to befall 
him soon afterwards, he would have 
bowed in gratitude and thanked God that 
death had saved her from the greater 
agony of surviving her husband and sons. 

Section 4.—The Prince made captive 
When Dara had arrived within one 
kos of the stronghold of Malik Jiwan, the 
Afghan chief came out to welcome him 
with due honours. It was at this stage 
that Nadira Banu died (6t.h June) express¬ 
ing her last wish (wasiyat kardah) to 
have her corpse borne back to Hindustan. 
Hitherto hers was the main objection 
which held back Dara from the project of 
going to Persia. So, after her expiry the 
few faithful and stout hearts who were 
anxious for the safety of their prince pro¬ 
posed that instead of thrusting their 
heads into the den of the treacherous 
Pathans possibly seduced by the letters 


of enemies—they should from that very 
place turn towards Persia. 

But Dara refused to believe that 
Malik Jiwan, who owed his life to him 
could ever turn false to his salt. He put 
on a mourning dress and decided to 
observe at least the three customary days 
of mourning before deciding what course 
to follow. The corpse of Nadira was 
borne to the house of Jiwan where Dara 
and his followers were very hospitably 
entertained for the next two days. True 
to his departed love, Dara’s first thought 
was to arrange for the escort of Nadira’s 
last remains, which he wished to be 
buried at Lahor in the holy precincts of 
the grave of Mian Mir. Dara sent away 
every available soldier, about 70 in 
number, under his brave and devoted 
captain Gul Muhammad to escort the 
coffin of Nadira to Lahor. Khawjah 
Maqbul, who had served Nadira all 
through life, was ordered to accompany 
the coffin and attend to her burial rites. 
The prince with the magnanimity of a 
noble soul about to close his account 


with the world, assembled all his other 
followers and gave them a free choice 
either to return to Hindustan with the 
party of Gul Muhammad or stay back to 
suffer voluntarily the privations of exile 
in Persia. None remained with Dara 
except his son Sipihr Shukoh and a few 
eunuchs and menial servants. 

Next morning (9th June, 1659) Dara, 
with his son Sipihr and a handful of 
miserable followers, left the house of 
Malik Jiwan and proceeded towards the 
Bolan Pass, their destination being the 
fort of Qandahar. But no sooner had 
they reached the head of the road, than 
they were surrounded by Malik Jiwan 
and his ferocious band. Dara'/whose body 
and spirit seemed to have been paralysed 
by the death of Nadira, did not raise a 
finger in self-defence; only Sipihr Shukoh 
offered fight but was soon overpowered. 
They were now brought back prisoners to 
the house of their treacherous hogt, who at 
once despatched fast riders to the camp 
of Jai Singh and Bahadur Khan with the 
news of their capture. The piteous sight 




[Ch. XI. 

of his young son, Sipihr Shukoh with his 
hands tied behind his back was more 
than what Dara could bear. “Finish, 
finish,” said he, “ungrateful and infamous 
wretch that thou art, finish that which 
thou hast commenced; we are the victims 
of evil fortune and the unjust passion of 
Aurangzib, but remember that I do not 
merit death except for having saved thy 
life, and remember that a prince of the 
royal blood never had his hands tied 
behind his back.” 1 The sinful heart of 
Malik Jiwan quailed for a moment at the 
vehemence of Dara’s words, and he 
ordered the hands of Sipihr Shukoh to be 

Mirza Rajah Jai Singh and Bahadur 
Khan crossed the Indus on 20th June 
and proceeded towards Dadar to take 
charge of the captives. On the 23rd Malik 
Jiwan handed over Dara, his son and 
two daughters to Bahadur Khan. “The 
fallen prince was speechless with dispair 
and utterly dazed by calamity ; he con- 

1 Travels of Tavernier, Vol. I, pp. 351, 352. 


sented to everything that his captors 
suggested. They made him write a letter 
to the eunuch Basant, ordering him to 
give up to the imperialists the fort of 
Bhakkar with Dara’s property and family 
lodged there, and sent the eunuch Maqbul 
to carry it as a proof of Dara’s ruin.” 2 
Malik was made a hazari in the Mughal 
peerage and received the title of Bakhtyar 
Khan for betraying the luckless heir of 
Shah Jahan. Besides, he was asked to 
accompany the prisoners to Delhi where 
further honours awaited him. 

After two months Bahadur Khan and 
the newly made Bakhtyar Khan (Malik 
Jiwan) arrived at Delhi with the captive 
prince and his family (23rd August, 1659). 
Dara and his son Sipihr Shukoh were 
handed over to the charge of Nazar Beg, 
a trusty chelah (slave) of Aurangzib. 
They were lodged in one of the buildings 
of Khawaspura, now a village three miles 
south of Delhi-Shahjahanabad. Two days 
after (25th August), Nazar Beg was 

2 History of Aurangzib, Vol. I & II, p. 540. 



[Ch. XI. 

summoned to the presence of Aurangzib 
in order to submit details about the con¬ 
dition of the prisoners. On Tuesday, 29th 
August, Aurangzib issued orders for a 
disgraceful parade of the captive prince 
and his son in a magnificent military 
procession which should pass through 
the main thoroughfares of the city of 
Shahjahanabad in order to disillusion the 
citizens of Delhi who were till now 
sceptical about the capture of the real 
Dara. The prisoners were dressed in 
coarse and dirty clothes with sorry 
turbans wrapped with an apology of a 
Kashmir shawl ‘‘resembling that worn by 
the meanest people.” A miserable and 
worn out female elephant, made more 
repulsive with dirt and filth, was selected 
for the honour of carrying the captive 
princes, who with their feet enchained 
were seated in an open howda on its back; 
and the slave Nazar Beg with a naked 
sword sat behind them. Close to the 
elephant of Dara, rode Malik Jiwan and 
his Afghans. A strong force of mail-clad 
cavalry in their shining steel and with- 


drawn swords, and mounted archers with 
arrows fixed to their bows lent an awe¬ 
inspiring magnificence to the disgraceful 
show. Bahadur Khan mounted on an 
elephant headed the procession to Delhi 
through the Lahori gate of the city. 
“Exposed to the full blaze of an August 
sun, he was taken through the scenes of 
his former glory and splendour. In the 
bitterness of disgrace he did not raise his 
head, nor cast his glance on any side, but 
sat ‘like a crushed twig.’ Only once did 
he look up, when a poor beggar from the 
road-side cried out, “Oh Dara! when you 
were master, you always gave me alms; 
today I know well thou hast naught to 
give.” 1 ‘A king in shreds and patches,’ 
poor Dara had now nothing to bestow on 
misery except perhaps a drop of tear and 
a sigh of sympathy. Nevertheless he 
raised his hand and drawing off his 
wrapper threw it to the beggar. 

The French doctor Benier, an eye¬ 
witness of this ignominious show, says: 

1 Hist, of Aurangzib, I & II, p. 543. 



[CH. XI. 

“The crowd assembled upon this dis¬ 
graceful occasion was immense; and 
everywhere I observed the people weep¬ 
ing and lamenting the fate of Dara in the 

most touching language.From 

every quarter I heard piercing and dis¬ 
tressing shieks, for the Indian people 
have a very tender heart; men, women, 
and children wailing as if some mighty 
calamity had happened to themselves 

.but not a single movement was 

made, none offered to draw a sword, with 
a view of delivering the beloved and 
compassionated prince.” 1 The procession, 
after passing through Chandi Chok and 
Sadullah Khan’s Bazar and under the 
walls of the citadel of Delhi, returned to 
the Khizirabad garden, where Bahadur 
Khan handed back the prisoners to the 
custody of Nazar Beg. Dara and his son 
were lodged in their former cell in the 
Khawaspura mansion and Shaft Khan 
was appointed to guard them with a 
strong force. 

1 Bernier’s Travels, I, pp. 99-100. 


Section 5.—Murder of Dara Shukoh 

Alarmed at the report of popular 
sorrow and indignation during the pro¬ 
cession, Aurangzib summoned that very 
evening a meeting of his most confiden¬ 
tial partisans in the Diwan-i-Khas of the 
Delhi fort. It was debated whether Dara 
should be executed or kept a state-prisoner 
in the fort of Gwalior. “By some it was 
maintained that there was no reason for 
proceeding to extremities, and that the 
prince might be taken to Gwalior pro¬ 
vided he were attended with a strong 
escort. Danishmand Khan, although he 
and Dara had long been on bad terms, is 
said to have enforced this opinion with 
all bis powers of argument: but it was 
ultimately decided that Dara should die, 
and that Sipihr Shukoh should be con¬ 
fined in Gwalior. At this meeting 
Raushanara Begarn betrayed all her 
enmity against her hapless brother, com¬ 
bating arguments of Danishmand, and 
exciting Aurangzib to this foul and un¬ 
natural murder. Her efforts were but too 



[CH. XI. 

successfully seconded by Khalil-ullah 
Khan and Shaista Khan, both of them old 
enemies of Dara; and by Taqarrub Khan, 
a wretched parasite recently raised to the 
rank of Ornrah, and formerly^ physician 
(Hakim Baud).” 1 The ulemas who had 
had a bad time during the period of 
Dara’s ascendancy, issued the fatwa of 
death sentence against the unorthodox 
Dara. “The pillars of Canonical Law and 
Faith apprehended many kinds of dis¬ 
turbance from his life. So, the Emperor, 
both out of necessity to protect the Faith 
and Holy Law, and also for reasons of 
State, considered it unlawful to allow 
Dara to remain alive any longer as a 
destroyer of public peace.” Thus does 
the official history 2 published under 
Aurangzib’s authority justify this act of 
political murder. 

Next morning (30th August) Aurangzib 
held a darbar to show his appreciation of 

llbid., p. 101 . 

® Alamgir-nama; see History of Aurangzib, I & II, 
pp. 544-545. 



Malik Jiwan’s services. When the party 
of this newly created peer was being con¬ 
ducted through the city, the pent-up 
wrath of the populace of Delhi against the 
traitor brokH forth. “The idlers, the parti¬ 
sans of Dara, the workmen and people of 
all sorts (lit. trade), inciting each other, 
gathered into a mob, and assailing Jiwan 
and his companions with abuse and 
imprecations, they pelted them with dirt 
and filth, and clods and stones, so that 
several persons were knocked and killed, 
and many were wounded. Jiwan was 
protected by shields held over his head, 
and he at length made his way through 
the crowd to the palace. They say that 
the disturbance on this day was so great 
that it bordered on rebellion. If the 
kotwal had not come forward with his 
policemen, (to suppress the rising) not one 
of Malik Jiwan’s followers would have 
escaped with life. From the roofs of houses 
women threw so much ashes, and pots 
(kaujah) filled with urine and human 
stools upon the heads of Afghans that even 



[Ch. XI. 

many bystanders received injuries.” 1 This 
incident, however, only hastened the doom 
of Dara. 

In the evening Aurangzib summoned 
Nazar Quli (Beg) to his presence and 
ordered him to separate Sipihr Shukoh 
from his father, and bring him the head 
of Bara. The supervision of the bloody 
task was entrusted to Shaft Khan. At 
nightfall when Dara for fear of being 
poisoned, was engaged with his son Sipihr 
Shukoh in boling some lentils, Nazar and 
his comrades of hell entered the room. 
Seeing these bloody men in the posture 
the prince all at once gave a start and sat 
shrinking back. He said to them, ‘Have 
you been sent to slay us?” They replied 
“At present we do not know anything 
about killing anybody. It has been 
ordered that your son should be separated 
from you and kept in custody somewhere 

x Khaf Khan, iii., p. 86; translated in Elliot and Dawson, 
Vol. VII, p. 246. As regards the end of Malik Jiwan, Bernier 
says : “He did not escape fate, however, which he merited, 
being waylaid and assassinated within a few leagues of his 
own territory.’* Bernier’s Travels, p, 104. 



else. We have come to take him away.” 
Sipihr Sukoh was seated knee to knee 
with his father. 1 The hump-backed 
Nazar, casting his venom-spouting glance 
at Sipihr Shukoh, said, “Get up”. At this 
Sipihr Shukoh losing his senses and 
clung to his father’s legs. Father and son 
hugged at each other tightly and began 
to weep, crying “Alas! alas!” In a harsh 
and threatening tone the slaves said to 
Sipihr Shukoh; “Get up; otherwise we 
shall drag you away”, and they started to 
lay hands on him to snatch him off. Dara 
Shukoh wiped off his tears, turned 
towards the slaves, and said, “Go and tell 
my brother to leave his innocent nephew 
here.” The slaves in reply said, “We are 
not anybody’s message-bearer; we must 

I The Khuda Baksh Library Ms. of Tarikh-i-Shujai has the 
word "badwaz” meaning flying. 1 he India Office Ms, reads 
bar-jushlah bar do-zanitvi nishast; bar do-zarxuvi does not 
exactly mean kneeling down (in humility). This is a mode of 
sitting as opposed to sitting cross-legged. Sitting on knees with 
legs back is still the usual mode of sitting particularly in the 
presence of a superior. The Khuda Baksh Ms. seems to be 
more accurate; because flying or shrinking back suits the 
context better. 



[CH. XI. 

carry out our orders.” And saying these 
words they rushed forward, and forcibly 
tore him away from his father’s embrace. 
When Dara realised that this was his last 
moment, he tore open a pillow and look 
out a small pen-knife which he had kept 
concealed there. lie turned to the slave 
who was advancing to seize him and 
drove this small knife with such force into 
the wretch’s side that it stuck fast in the 
bone. Though the prince tried to take it 
out, he did not succeed. Then Dara 
Slmkoh dealt some blows with his fist 
right and left. At length they made a 
rush at him in a body and overpowered 
him. The agonising shriek of Sipihr 
Shukoh, who was in a neighbouring room, 
continued to reach the ears of Dara 
Shukoh when they were engaged in 
finishing their bloody work.” 1 The 
author of Tarikh-i-Shujai, prone to pious 
credulity like his countrymen, adds: 
“this sinner has heard that after the work 

1 Masum, India Office Ms., 144 b, 145 a; translated in the 
Hist, of Aurangzib, I & II. p. 546-549. 


was finished, the head of prince Dara 
Shukoh repeated aloud the “kalima-i- 
Shahadat” (Muslim confession of faith) 
which was heard by people.” 2 

The severed head of Dara was at once 
taken to Aurangzib, who ordered it to be 
placed in a dish and washed clean of 
blood. When he was fully satisfied that 
it was the head of Dara, he exclaimed. 
“Ah Bad-ba7cht\ I did not look at the 
face of this apostate from religion when 
alive; nor shall I do so now”. Next morn¬ 
ing (31st August, 1659) the dead body of 
Dara was placed on the back of an 
elephant and taken along the road of 
every bazar and lane of the city of Delhi. 
The bystanders wept at the ghastly 
spectacle. On that day the kotwal held 
an investigation into the previous day’s 
riot and attack on Malik Jiwan. Ilaibat, 
an ahadi (gentleman trooper) of the 
Guards, who had instigated his fellow 
citizens to be avenged on the traitor, was 
sentenced by Aurangzib to a most cruel 

2 Ibid. 



[CH. XI. 

death. He was sawn alive into two halves 
with unexampled barbarity. 

Manucci, a violent partisan of Dara, 
relates an anecdote of doubtful authenti¬ 
city about Aurangzib’s treatment of the 
head of the murdered prince. He says 
that at the suggestion of Raushanara 
Begam the severed head was enbalmed, 
enclosed in a box, and sent under the 
guise of a present to Shah Jahan from his 
son Aurangzib. The captive Emperor 
ignorant of its contents received the 
packet with the remark that it was at 
least some consolation to him that his 
usurping son had not forgotten him 
altogether. But when the packet was 
opened the old Emperor fell into a swoon, 
and Jahanara rent the prison-chamber of 
her father with shrieks of agony (Storia, 

Though such an act was not perhaps 
too atrocious to be credited to the character 
of Aurangzib, it cannot be accepted as 
historically authentic; because no other 
writer, European or Indian, corroborates 
Manucci’s tale. All the contemporary 


chroniclers as well as later historians 
affirm that the severed head of Dara was 
joined to its trunk, and, that his last 
remains were borne to the tomb of 
Humayun and consigned to a grave under 
its vault, unwashed and un-prayed for. 

A martyr to Love, human and 
divine, a heroic soul that stood for peace 
and concord among mankind, and the 
emancipation of the human intellect from 
the shackles of blind authority and 
dogma, Muhammad Dara Shukoh merely 
justified in life and death the inscrutable 
“ways of God to man”. 



Section I.—The fate of Sulaiman Shukoh 

On being deserted by Mirza Rajah Jai 
Singh, Dilir Khan and other imperial 
officers, Sulaiman Shukoh began a retreat 
from Kora (4th June, 1658) to Allahabad. 
His large and victorious army had melted 
away, and only about 6000 men remained 
with him under Dara’s trusty officer Baqi 
Beg. Sulaiman left his heavy baggage, 
golden palanquin and other paraphar- 
nelia of royalty, and the surplus women 
of his harem in the fort of Allahabad in 
charge of a brave officer named Sayyid 
Hashim Barah. His project was to make 
a wide loop round Delhi and join his 
lather at Lahor by easily making his way 
through the unguarded sub-montane 
districts of Saharanpur and Ambala. He 
cxbsied the Canges on 14th June, and 


marching via Lucknow and Moradabad 
reached Nagina, where he intended to 
recross the river to its right bank. But 
the people were hostile and the boats at 
every ferry rowed away to the other side 
of the river at the approach of his army. 
He proceeded further up the river and 
piade a halt at Chandi, opposite Hardwar, 
waiting for his officer Bhawanidas, who 
had been sent to Rajah Prithvi Singh of 
Srinagar to negotiate for help. But this 
halt proved fatal. Aurangzib had sent an 
army under Shaista Khan to cut off 
Sulaiman’s projected retreat to the 
Pan jab and hold him back at Hardwar. 
A dashing officer named Fidai Khan, who 
was moving far ahead of the main army 
of Shaista Khan, received a letter from 
the Rajah of Kumaun, apprising him of 
the presence of Sulaiman Sukoh opposite 
Hardwar. From Puth, southeast of 
Hapur, Fidai Khan rode 160 miles in one 
day, and with only 50 men reached 

The clamour of Sulaiman’s soldiers, 
particularly the Sayyids of Barha who 




[CH. XII. 

now trembled for the safety of their 
homes and families, distracted the poor 
prince. With only 2,000 men he entered 
the territory of the Rajah of Srinagar, 
who promised him a safe refuge on 
condition of his dismissing his troops. 
Baqi Beg, who had so long been the 
Mentor of the young prince, had breathed 
his last on the way to Srinagar. Young 
Sulaiman left without an adviser, com¬ 
mitted errors of judgment and played 
into the hands of traitors in his own 
retinue. He was deceived by a forged 
letter purporting to have been written by 
his commandant of the Allahabad fort, 
and intimating the news of the arrival of 
Shuja near Allahabad. Leaving the 
protection of the Rajah, Sulaiman came 
down with his faithless followers to 
Nagina, where in one day all but 700 of 
his men deserted him. Next day, when 
he decided to return to the hills, only 
200 men were willing to follow him there; 
and his pursuers were also close upon him. 
At last with his wife and a few other 
ladies, his foster-brother Muhammad 

aurangzib’s war and intrigue against rajah 325 

Shah and seventeen followers, the miser¬ 
able prince threw himself upon the pro¬ 
tection and honour of the Rajah of 

Aurangzib sat ill at. ease on the 
usurped throne of Delhi so long as he 
could not secure the person or procure the 
death of Sulaiman Shukoh, a prince more 
capable of ruling than his father, and the 
most beloved of Shah Jahan’s grand¬ 
children. He had sent the arch-traitor 
Rajah Rajrup against Prithvi Singh in 
July 1059, and for more than a year, the 
God-fearing and brave Rajput chief of 
Srinagar, who remembered with gratitude 
Data’s services to him in 1656, successfully 
defended both his territory and his guest. 
The Rajah was all kindness and genero¬ 
sity to the fugitive prince whom he is 
said to have given a daughter in marriage. 
Aurangzib, impatient of slow progress of 
arms, now took to diplomacy, and asked 
Mirza Rajah Jai Singh’s help in this 
matter. The Rajah, who was then stay¬ 
ing at court, wrote friendly letters to 
Prithvichand advising him to save him- 



ICh. XII. 

self from inevitable ruin by surrendering 
Sulaiman Shukoh. Having failed to 
seduce the old chief of Srinagar, Jai Singh 
turned to intrigue with his all powerful 
Brahmin minister. The minister, finding 
it impossible to induce his master to part 
with the fugitive prince, gave a deadly 
poison to Sulaiman in the form of 
medicine, which the cautious prince first 
experimented on a cat. On being informed 
of this heinous attempt of his minister, 
the Rajah immediately beheaded the 
scoundrel. Jai Singh next plotted with 
the Rajah’s son Medini Singh, instigating 
him to play the Aurangzib towards his 
father. It was the fate of Dara to be 
betrayed especially by those who owed 
most to him. Medini Singh all but im¬ 
prisoned his father and arranged for the 
surrender of the fugitives to Jai Singh’s 
men ( Masum's Tarikh-i-Shujai). 

But according to the official account, 
as given by the authors of Alamgir-nama 
and Maasir-i-Alamgiri, it was Prithvi- 
chand, who of his own accord wrote a 
letter to Jai Singh, intimating his willing- 


ness to surrender Sulaiman, if Mirza 
Rajah would intercede with the Emperor 
for forgiving his remissness. The 
Emperor pardoned the offences of the 
chief of Srinagar at the request of Jai 
Singh, whom the Emperor asked to send 
his son Ram Singh to Srinagar for 
bringing away Sulaiman Shukoh. On 
the 27th. December, 1660, Prithvi Singh 
sent down the hill the captive prince 
accompanied by his son Medini Singh. 
This news reached the Emperor on 29th. 
December and on this day Jai Singh was 
presented with a jewelled turah. On 2nd 
January, 1661, Kunwar Ram Singh, 
Tarbiyat Khan, Radandaz Khan and 
other imperial mansabdars brought with 
them the captive prince. He was lodged 
with Muhammad Sultan, eldest son of 
Aurangzib, who had been imprisoned in 
Salimgarh for having joined his uncle 
Shu j ah. 

Three days after (5th January 1661), 
from the prison-fortress of Salimgarh, 
Sulaiman Shukoh, a captive in chains, 
was conducted to the presence of 



[CH. XII. 

Aurangzib in the Private Audience Hall 
of Delhi. Looking every inch a prince 
even in his misery, he behaved with much 
self-possession. He boldly said to his 
uncle that he would prefer instant death 
to being made to drink the decoction of 
poppy seeds in the Gwalior prison. 
Aurangzib, who was outwardly com¬ 
passionate and tender to Sulaiman, loudly 
and with solemnity promised that post 
water should never be given to him. 
Sulaiman was removed to the state-prison 
of Gwalior (15th Jan. 1661 ). 1 Aurangzib 

1 Alamgir-nama (pp. 600-602), and Maasir-i-Alamgiri (p. 33) 
are silent on the intrigue of Aurangzib through Jai Singh 
against the Rajah of Srinagar for securing the person of 
Sulaiman Shukoh. All non-official accounts such as those of 
Masum (157b-159b), Tavernier (vol. i. 290-92), Bernier (378-380), 
and Manucci i, 105) establish beyond doubt the fact that 
Aurangzib employed Jai Singh in this affair. Masum’s account 
of Sulaiman*® life in Srinagar and his surrender is fullest and 
most graphic (Ms. 153b-159b). Tavernier says that Brahmins 
brought pressure on the Rajah of Srinagar to surrender the 
fugitive prince. Bernier also holds that ’‘the intrigues of Jai 
Singh, the promises and threats of Aurangzib , . . shook the 
resolution of this pusillanimous protector.” We read nowhere 
except in Masum’s Tarikh-i-Shujai the attempt of the minister 
of Prithvichand to poison Sulaiman, and Medini Singh's 
usurpation of authority in Srinagar. Nevertheless his version 


meant anything but what his tongue had 
uttered in the Diwan-i-Khas. Sulaiman 
was given the much-dreaded drink of 
opium-seed water for a year but his 
youthful vitality proving too strong for 
this slow poison, he was strangled to death 
under Aurangzib’s orders and buried by 
the side of Murad Bakhsh, similarly done 
away with in that dismal prison. Thus 
at the age of thirty the promising career 
of Sulaiman Shukoh came to a violent 

Of the unfortunate children of 
Sulaiman Shukoh, a daughter named 
Salima Banu was brought up and adopted 
as her own child by Gauhar-ara Begum. 
In the month of Muharram, 1082 A.H. 
(June, 1662) Salima Banu was married to 
Prince Muhammad Akbar. Another 
daughter of Sulaiman Shukoh was 
married to Khawajah Bahauddin in 1678 
A.D. ( Maasir-i-Alamgiri, pp. 118, 166). 

appears to be quite accurate. We believe the old Rajah of 
Srinagar was no party to the affair of the betrayal of Sulaiman 
into the hands of Aurangzib. 



[Ch. XH. 

Section 2. — Fate of other children of Dara. 

Snatched from the last embrace of 
Dara, Sipihr Shukoh had been sent away 
a prisoner to Gwalior soon after the 
murder of his father. After twelve years’ 
prison life in Gwalior his lot became a 
little better. Under instmetios from the 
Emperor, Multafat Khan brought him to 
Delhi and lodged him in prison-tower of 
Salimgarh on the 8th December 1(572. 
Sipihr Shukoh was introduced to the 
Emperor on the 16th December, and was 
given in marriage, Zubdat-un nisa, a 
daughter of Aurangzib (30th January, 
1673). The only male issue of this wed¬ 
lock was Ali Tabar (born on 13th July, 
1676), who did not live for more than six 
months. We hear nothing more of Sipihr 
Shukoh in the official histories of 
Aurangzib’s reign. 2 

Two daughters of Dara born of 
Nadira Banu, who had been taken 
prisoner along with their father and 

1 See Maaair-i-Alamgiri, pp. 121, 124, 125, 154. 

dara’s daughter brought up by jahanara 331 

second brother, were brought to Delhi 
and at first sent to the harem of 
Aurangzib for being looked after. But at 
the entreaty of Shah Jahan and Jahanara, 
they were sent to Agra to reside with 
them. The elder of the two, Jani Begam, 1 
grew up an exceptionally beautiful and 
accomplished woman and was married to 
Muhammad Azam, the second son of 

1 An exploit of her sheds the last gleam of romantic 
interest on the: tragic, tale of Dara. See Sir J. N. Sarkar 9 Hist, 
of Aurangzib iv. pp. 301-2. An independent and more 
detailed account of Anurudh Singh Hadas rescue of Jani 
Begum from hands of the Marathas is found in the Vamsa- 
bhasfaar. ITie two accounts differ in minor details. 
(Vomsabhaskar, p. 2869-71). 



Baba Lai was a Chain (Kshatriya) 
by caste, born in Mahva during the reign 
of Jahangir (1605—1627). He was a 
follower of Chetan Swami, who was a 
great saint with many miracles to his 
credit. It is said that one day Chetan 
Swami begged of Baba Lai some rice and 
fuel in alms, lighted a fire between his 
legs, and held with his feet a pot in which 
rice was being boiled. Seeing this miracle 
Baba Lai prostrated himself before the 
saint and accepted him as his guru 
(spiritual guide). He received from his 
guru a grain of cooked rice, which, when 
eaten revealed to him at once the 
mysteries of the whole universe. He 
followed Chetan Swami to Labor, where 
one day the saint, in order to test the pro¬ 
gress of his disciple in yoga, ordered him 
to bring some gopi-chandan (whitish 
earth, sacred to Vaishnavas) from 
Dwaraka in the Kathiawad Peninsula, 



several hundred miles distant from Lahor. 
Baba Lai, it is said, having completed the 
long journey returned with gopi-chandan 
from Dwaraka in less than an hour; 
whereupon his guru gave him leave to 
part from him and settle independently 
as a master. He took up his abode at 
Dyanpur near Sarhind. Here he built a 
hermitage for himself and began to initiate 
people in his own creed, which consisted 
in the worship of one God without form 
or any exterior cult. His system drew 
much from the Vedanta philosophy and 
Sufism. His followers called themselves 
Baba Lalis: and among those who followed 
his doctrine was Prince Dara Shukoh. 1 

Baba Lai was staying at Kotal 
Mehran, 2 a suburb of the city of Lahor, 
when Dara Shukoh halted there on his 
journey back to Court from the unsuccess¬ 
ful siege of Qandahar (22nd November, 
1653). During three weeks of Dara’s 

1 Garcin de Tassy, i. 94-%; Asiatic Researches, xvii., 
p. 296 ff. 

% Kotal Mehran is undoubtedly * Kui Miran , a suburb of 
the city of Lahor (Lahore District Gaz. 1884, p* 192). 



[Ch. XIII. 

halt at Lahor (till about the middle of 
December, 1653), a very interesting religi¬ 
ous discourse took place between the 
Prince and the Hindu ascetic in the house 
of Rai Chandrabhan Brahman, situated in 
Niyula. 2 3 * This discourse continued for 
nine days with two majlis or sittings a 
day. The conversations were held in 
Urdu, and these were, it seems noted down 
by Rai Jadhavdas 5 in a copy book. After¬ 
wards the whole thing was rendered into 
Persian by Rai Chandrabhan ( munshi), 
and published under the title Nadir-ul- 
Nukat. As regards the nature of this 
religious discourse the great French critics, 

2 Niyula seems to be that quarter of the city of Lahor 

which is now known as Naulakha. Its situation is thus noticed 
in the Lahore District Gazetteer : “Some distance north of the 
Mall and separated from it by an open and still desolate tract, 
lies the Railway station forming centre of a colony of bunga¬ 
lows. This part of the station is known as Naulak 

(Naulakha). This part of the station once formed a part of the 
ancient city.*’ (/bid., p. 164). 

3 Prof. Wilson calls him Jadu Das. According to Prof. 

Wilson’s authority this interview took place 1649 (vide Garcin 
de Tassy, i. 96), which is clearly a mistake. This dialogue, 
Nadir~ul~Nukat was translated into Urdu under the title Risalah - 

i-usulah u ajtibah-i-Dara Shukoh. (Garcin de Tassy, vol. i., 
p. 96). 



Huart and Massignon justly remark: 
“These dialogues, which appear to have 
really taken place towards the end of the 
year 1063 A.H. (1653 A.D.) have not the 
polemical and formal character of official 
conferences, organised among the repre¬ 
sentatives of rival religions at the court 
of the Sassanides. These are questions 
put by the prince in full sympathy and 
confidence to the ascetic whom he respects, 
and who replies to him as to a friend. 
Though the subjects approached belong to 
the most varied domains of the traditional 

civilisation of India.the most original 

passages are those in which Dara Shukoh 
tries to make Baba Lai analyse in Hindu 
terms his own religious experience as a 

Muhammadan. 5,1 Elsewhere the 

same critics observe: “As regards the 
ascetic Baba Laldas . . . we have been able 
to notice in the curious remark that Dara 
made about him (in his Shatahat, Urdu 
translation Lahor, p. 144), that he was a 
mundiya (a shaven-headed monk) and 

1 Journal Asiatique, 1926 (Oct.-Deer). 



[Ch. XIII. 

that he was attached to the sect of Kabir- 
panthis. Thus then, it is still the great 
shadow of Kabir that has protected this 
germ of reconciliation between Hinduism 
and Islam generously sown by him in the 
15th century. At this moment when the 
unity of India depends on a new attempt 
at the mutual comprehension of the two 
spiritual elements, attention can legiti¬ 
mately be paid to the figures of Baba Lai 
and Dara.” 1 

Kabir has undoubtedly been the great 
fountain-head of inspiration to succeed¬ 
ing generations of religious reformers and 
great thinkers from Akbar to Mahatma 
Gandhi and Rabindranath, men who have 
preached the gospel of concord and love 
to humanity, who attempt at bridging the 
gulf between race and race, creed and 
creed. But it is difficult to accept even on 
the authority of Dara himself that Baba 
Lai was a Kabirpanthi out and out. There 
is no doubt that Baba Lai, who originally 
started his ascetic life as a Hot-yogin (a 

i ibid. 



sect given to the practice of stiff physical 
postures or asanas for working miracles 
—became afterwards a mystic, upholding 
like Kabir, the worship of one absolute 
God without form, and singing God’s 
praises and his own spiritual experiences 
in popular Hindi verses. But Baba Lai 
did not, as the following extracts from the 
Dialogue will show, share Kabir’s con¬ 
tempt for book-lore and yoga practices, 
nor did he, like Kabir, condemn fiercely 
idol worship and the externals of religions. 

It is a great misfortune that the 
Persian text of this interesting Dialogue, 
A adir-ul-Xukat, has come down to us only 
in mutilated and corrupt transcriptions. 
As the Dialogue reveals the inner man, a 
few extracts in translation from the 
published text will not be out of place 

i. Q. What is the difference between Nad and 
the Veda ? 

A . It is the same difference that holds between 
the sovereign who orders and the order 
decreed by him. The one is Nad, the 
other the Veda. 



[Ch. XIII. 

2. Q. What is the light of the moon, what is the 

black spot in it, and what '.s the cause 
of its whiteness ? 

A, The moon by itself has no brightness ; it 
is an absolutely colourless object on 
which the rays of the sun fall ; its 
whiteness is the reflection of the seas 
and its black spot is the land of this 

3. Q. If it be a matter of reflection, why is it 

not equally seen on the sun ? 

A. The sun is like a globe of fire, while the 
moon is like a globe of water ; reflection 
is formed in water but not in fire. 

6. Q. What is the cult of idols among the 
Hindus? Who has prescribed it? 

A. This observance has been established in 
order to strengthen the heart. He who 
has known the reality of things is 
excused for that reason with respect to 
the external form ; but when one has 
not the knowledge of the inmost reality, 
one remains attached to the external 
form. It is the same with the unmarried 
girls who play with dolls ; once married, 
they abstain from it thenceforth ; this 
being a sort of idol-worship. Sc long 
, as one has not gone to the bottom of it 


(batin ), one is attached to the external 
form ; since when one knows the inner 
meaning, one does away with it. 

Q . What distinction is there between the 
Creator and the creature? I had put 
this question to some, who replied to 
me by a comparison of their difference 
to that which exists between a tree and 
its seed. Is it so or otherwise? 

A. The Creator is like the ocean and the 
creature like a jug full of water. 
Although the water is the same in the 
jug and the ocean, there is a very great 
difference between the two recipients. 

^ It is thus that the Creator is creator and 

the creature is creature. 

. Q. What is Paramatmd, and what is Jivatma ? 

How again does the Jivatma become 
(one with) Paramatmal 

A . Wine c o ma s from water : but if it be poured 
on earth, the impurities, the intoxica¬ 
tion and the pollution which it contains 
are left on the surface ; whereas the 
water will penetrate into the ground, 
and will remain pure water. It is the 
same with the man who is still the 
Jivatma ; if he abandons along with his 
existence the sediments of the five 
? senses, then will he rejoin God. 


13. Q. What is the difference between the Jivatmd 

anS the Paramatma ? 

A. There is no difference at all in essence. 

14. Q . Then, how is it that punishment and reward 

do apparently exist ? 

A. It is the mark which is imprinted by the 
mould of the body ; thus it is with the 
Ganges and the water of the Ganges. 

15. Q. What is the difference marked out by this 


A . This difference is many-sided and un¬ 
limited. In fact, if the water of the 
Ganges passes into a jug and if a drop 
of wine falls into it, ail the water of 
the jug is considered polluted as wine ; 
whereas on the contrary if a hundred 
thousand jugs of wine were poured into 
the Ganges, the Ganges would always 
be the Ganges. It is thus that the 
Paramatma is perfect purity ; while an 
dtma {Jivatmd) is coloured by the 
existence of here below ; if it renounces 
this abode then the dtma becomes the 
Paramatma. But so long as it dwells 
in this existence, it will always remain 
an atmd {Jivatmd). 

19 . Q. It is indicated in the books of the Hindus 
that those who happen to die in Benares 
(Kashi) are sure to attain to salvation. 



If it be so, one may wonder that there 
there is equality between the fate of 
those who persist in asceticism and of 

A. Truly speaking, Kashi is the confirmation 
of one’s life. He who becomes con¬ 
firmed in life (eternal) is sure to find 
mukti (salvation). 

20 Q. Because every man has received life, will 
therefore every man obtain salvation ? 

A. With the exception of a Mahapurukha, no 
one becomes confirmed in life (exis¬ 
tence), but only gets rooted in desires. 
And desire is (something) different from 
Veal life (khivaish az wuzud aldhidah ast ). 
desire leads man to desire and thus 
deprives him of salvation. 

26. Q. If it becomes known that I always at heart 
prefer the (the garb) of a faqir, men 
for their advancement in dignity may 
put on the dress of a darwish ; but 
ultimately their real nature will come 
out, and this will affect their hearts 
severely. A king should abstain from it. 

No one will ever be successful in closing 
a path ( i.c . the wearing of the ascetic 
robe), by which the men of God pass ; 
just as a man who goes 011 collecting 
pebbles with the hope of discovering 
perchance the philosopher’s stone [can- 



[Ch. XIII. 

not be dissuaded from doing so indis¬ 
criminately]. Moreover, the darwish, 
who comes to the assembly in the dress 
of a darwish acquires great merit ; when 
he takes leave to depart, men render 
him services and adore him greatly, and 
this is itself a recompense. 

32. Q. According to the Hindu idea, it is in 
the valley of Birj (Brindaban) that 
the genuine figure ( surat-ukhas ) of 
Shri Krishna reveals itself to the 
shepherdesses (gopis). Does this 
mysterious appearance suit men or not? 

A. This apparition will not suit those who are 
attached to worldly life ; because if 
they cast their glance on that genuine 
figure, they will die and get punishment 
instead of reward. Amongst the faqirs , 
those who have all their desires sup¬ 
pressed in their body so well that their 
hearts on no account move in any 
direction, are only fit to stand it, 

39. Q. It is sometimes said that in Divine union 
one attains the Essence ( Zat ). 1 How 

can it be said that this union obtains 
Divine essence? 

1 This question relates to the highest Sufistic realisation,** 
1 am God*’. Baba Lai’s reply to it also conforms to the usual 
Sufistic commentary on it. 



A. When one reddens a piece of iron in the 
fire and it takes the colour of fire, it 
behaves like fire. 

41. Q. It is a custom that when Muhammadans 

die, they are buried and Hindus are 
burnt ; but when a darwish 2 in the 
cloak of a Hindu breathes his last (dar 
burqa-i-Hindu ), what will be done to 

A. First of all, to be buried or burnt is an 
alternative regarding material existence. 
Now, the darwish does not care for his 
body, which he has abandoned in order 
to plunge himself in the ocean of joy 
found in the realisation of God. He 
leaves the sphere of material existence 
( hasti) only to be exalted to a lasting 
abode in that which has no material 
existence ( nisti ). Like a serpent which 
enters its hole without any thought of 
its worn out skin left behind, the 
darwish cares no more for his body ; 
let people do whatsoever they like with 

42. Q . A man said to me : “Do less of evil.” I 

2 It should be noted in this Dialogue that the words, 
derwiah and faqir, have nowhere been used to mean exclu¬ 
sively Muslim faqira. They have been used as in this passage 
to signify the “men of God“ of every creed. 



[Ch. XIII. 

asked him : "What does it signify, less 
of evil (kam azar) ?" He replied : 
"Little of evil (andak azar )." I said: 
"To do evil is to do evil, no matter of 
what degree it is." How can it be 
measured ? 

A. We cannot injure him who is greater or 
stronger than we are. He who is of 
equal strength can retaliate. But we 
should not do any injury to him who 
is weaker ; this is what is indicated by 
the advice, "Do less of evil." 

43. Q. Free Will is God (ma’bud-i-haqiqi) ; it is 

also said in the books that every one is 
endowed with Free Will. How can we 
accept it ? 

A. Free Will is God, whose sovereignty is 
sublime. It is also in all that exist. 

44. Q. How can we be assured of it in both cases? 

A. When the child was still within the womb 

of his mother, Free Will in him was 
Divine Providence that protected him, 
and nourished him in all his develop¬ 
ment ; there being no other person at 
that time. Once the child is ushered 
into the world half of Free Will is that 
which out of grace and kindness for 
creatures begets milk in the mother’s 
breast (t.e. remains with God) ; the 



other half passes on to the child ; 
because, when the child weeps, his 
mother becoming aware of it, suckles 
him. When the child is grown up and 
becomes familiar with the cravings of 
the flesh, and occupies himself in doing 
things, good and bad, he himself be¬ 
comes this free will ; because God is 
above good and bad. 

53- Q • What does the heart signify? 

A. The heart is meant to say “I” and “You” ; 
that is to say, the duality arising out 
of (the affirmation of) two : because the 
heart takes the mind (arua, lit. souls) 
to every direction, towards father, 
mother brother, wife and children—to 
whom it becomes attached. We must 
know' that attachment between two 
comes from the heart. 

54. Q. What is the appearance of the heart which 

cannot be seen ? (Sarat-i-dil che-ist ke 
dar nazar na-me-ayaid). 

A. The appearance of the heart is like that of 
a breath of wind. 

55. Q. How can it be known? 

A. Just as the wind uproots trees although it 
remains invisible to our eyes, in the 
same manner does the heart throw into 
commotion the five senses (hawas-i- 
khams) ; it is in us and yet not visible 




to our eyes. It is thus that the appear¬ 
ance of the heart is like that of a breath 
of wind. 

65. Q. What is the function of the heart? 

A. The heart is the broker (dalal) of our mind. 

57. Q . How can it be known? 

A. From the shop of five senses—which are 
called “Indriyan” in Hindi—it secures 
the pleasures of the world, and takes 
them to the mind, and the mind itself 
becomes enamoured of the seductions of 
these pleasures. It is thus that the 
heart procures goods from the shop for 
the buyer, and having received a com¬ 
mission steps aside ; gain or loss falls 
on the buyer or the seller. In this way 
it acts as a broker and herein lies its 

6r. Q . What is called the sleep of the faqirs ? 

A. It is the sleep which a man goes into, leav¬ 
ing behind him every desire of the 
world, and shaking himself free from 
the “You” and “I” ; and during sleep 
no worldly object appears to him in 
dream. The sleep of faqirs is perhaps 
...called Jog-nidra in Hindi, because it is 
free from the coming and going from 
this world which is liberation ( mukti ). 

63. Q . What is the “awakening” ( bedari) in 



which the animals, vegetables, minerals, 
etc. accomplish the four stages (of their 
evolution) ? 

A , It is called the “complete revolution of 
the universe** ( gardish-i-falak) : The 
universe (is a body) of which the head 
is the north ; the feet, the south ; the 
eyes, the sun and the moon ; the bones, 
the mountains and stones ; the skin, the 
earth ; the pulse, the oceans ; the blood, 
the waters of seas and fountains, the 
bushes and forests are its hair, and its 
ear is the sky. 

64. Q. The sky is single, whereas ears are two. 

A . The two ears hear only one single word. 



Section 1.—Prince Dara and Mulla Shah Badakhshi 

Mulla Shah Muhammad, known also 
by the epithet of Lisan-Ullah, was the 
son of Mulla Abd Muhammad, the Qazi 
of Arksa, a place near Rustak in Badakh- 
shan. Attracted by the fame of the great 
Sufi Mian Mir of Lahor, he came to India 
in 1614 and became his disciple. After 
the death of Mian Mir, which took place 
on the 7th Rabi I. A.H. 1045 (x4ugust 21, 
1636) Mulla Shah went with his disci¬ 
ples to live permanently in Kashmir. 
Drunk to madness with divine love, he 
is said to have broken loose from the 
shariyat, and let himself adrift in the 
dangerous waters of ma’arifat (gnosti¬ 
cism) which, they say, landed him on the 
benighted shores of Infidelity (kufr). 
However, among the disciples of Mian 
Mir, none equalled him in piety, no 



scholar of his age enjoyed greater reputa¬ 
tion for learning, and none among the 
contemporary authors—perhaps with the 
exception of Dara Shukoh—employed his 
pen more usefully for the propagation of 
spiritual knowledge than did Mulla Shah 
Badakhshi. 1 

To him the enlightened and accom¬ 
plished prince Dara Shukoh turned 
for spiritual illumination and also for 
formal initiation into the Qadiriya order 
of Sufism. Tawakkul Beg, who was 
also a disciple of Mulla Shah, tells 
us that it was not without considerable 
difficulty that the Prince could induce 
the saint to accept him as a disciple 

1 For biographical notices, Rieu, ii. 690-91 ; Bodl Catalogue, 
col. 209; Oriental Public Library Catalogue, iii. 1112. Rieu 
reads Mulla Idi in place of Mulla Abd Muhammad, and Ark 
in place of Arksa (vide Oriental Public Library Catalogue, 
iii. 112). The most contemporary accounts are those in Dara’s 
Sakinat-ul~miliya, and Tawakkul Beg’s Biography of Mulla 
Shah. Next comes the Dabistan and Mirat-uLkhiyal (p. 198). 
Some of the works of Mulla Shah : Tafsir-i-Shah a commen¬ 
tary on the Quran; Risalah-i- Bismillah; Ri»crlah-i-Shahiya, 
Gazls and Rubais collected in a Kulliyat; TazItfra-iSha'ra-i - 
maarifan „ a prose work. (See Oriental Public Library Cata¬ 
logue, iii. 113). 



{C H . XIV. 

in 1050 A.H. (1640 A.D.) 1 during his 
visit to Kashmir. Mulla Shah had 
gained spiritual illumination by hard 
devotional and ascetic exercises; but on 
his pupils he imposed no such stern 
discipline or long course of prayer and 
meditation. “For his own pupils”, says 
Tawakkul Beg, “he had discovered a 
simpler and shorter course in which he 
used his will and personality to open, as 
the phrase is, the knot of their hearts”. 2 
This process of opening the knot of heart 
appears to have been a sort of hypnotic 
“suggestion” to stimulate at first an 
emotional religiosity in a neophyte, and 
next instruct him in the doctrine of union 
with God. Dara had, says Tawakkul Beg, 
“the greatest difficulty in prevailing on 

Mulla Shah to operate on him. 

Fatima, 1 a sister of Dara Shukoh, who had 
a lbng correspondence with the master, 

1 It is very apparent Mr. Macdonald ha® mistaken a 
common complimentary epithet, Fatima-uz-zamani, (the 
Fatima of her age) for the name of princess Jahartara, eldest 
daughter of Shah Jahan, (The religious attitude and life in 
hlam, p. 205). 



was initiated by her brother acting for 
him. passed through all the normal 
visions, attained to pure union with God 
and intuitive perception. Mulla Shah 
said of her; “She has attained to so extra¬ 
ordinary a development of mystical 
knowledge that she is worthy of being my 
representative”. She thus describes some 
of her experiences; ‘I seated myself, then, 
in a corner with my face turned toward 
Mecca, and concentrated all my mind on 
the image of the master, calling up at the 
same time, in my imagination, the 
personal description of the most holy 
Prophet. Occupied with this contempla¬ 
tion, I arrived in a state of my soul in 
which I neither slept nor waked, and 
then I saw the holy company of the 

Prophet and his four friends.I also 

perceived Molla Shah; he was seated near 
the Prophet, upon whose feet his head 
lay, while the Prophet said to him, ‘0 
Mulla Shah, for what reason did you 
illumine that Timuri V 

.God be praised, who, through 

the particular attention of the holy 



[CH. XIV. 

master, has accorded to me, a poor 
woman, the gift of conceiving in the most 
complete manner, of the absolute Being, 
as I have always ardently desired. Who¬ 
ever does not possess the knowledge of 
the absolute Being is not a man—he 
belongs to those of whom it is said, ‘They 
are the brutes, and more ignorant still.’ 
Every man who has attained this supreme 
felicity becomes, through this fact itself, 
the most accomplished and the most noble 
of beings and his individual existence is 
lost in the absolute existence ; he becomes 
like a drop in the ocean, a mote in the 
sunshine, an atom over against totality. 
Arrived in this state, he is above death, 
future punishment, the Garden and the 
Fire. Whether he is man or woman, he 
is always the most perfect being. n 

The experiences of Jahanara must 
have also been the experience of Dara 
Shukoh, kindred souls and disciples of the 
same master as they were. But Dara went 
further than Jahanara, and carried to its 

1 Ibid., p. 205. 


logical extreme the doctrine of absolute 
unity which emboldened him to proclaim' 
openly that he was a Khud-parast or 
worshipper of Self. The influence of 
Mulla Shah on the moral and spiritual life 
of Dara was very great, and the master 
and the disciple lived on terms of most 
affectionate intimacy. The Prince in his 
book Hasant-ul-A rifin tells us much about 
his Pit’s learned interpretations of 
Quranic verse; ‘0 you who believe, don’t 
you approach the prayer when you are 
drunk,’ (Quran, iv. 43). ‘If the drunken¬ 
ness is earthly, the prayer is forbidden in 
order that it may not be vitiated out of 
respect for the prayer. If the intoxication 
is that of the Reality, it is forbidden to 
approach the prayer, out of respect for the 
intoxication.’ Similarly, the explanation 
which Mulla Shah has given of the terms 
“believer” and “infidel” is at once subtle 
and most liberal. He says that the true 
believer is the infidel who has attained to 
God, who has seen Him and known Him; 
the infidel is a believer (imandar) who has 
not attained to God, whom he has not 



[CH. XIV. 

seen nor known.” 1 This is also a humour¬ 
ous home-thrust at those who either by 
birth or by reciting the confession of the 
creed arrogate to themselves the appella¬ 
tion of “Believers”. 

Mulla Shah was not only a man 
of wide intellectual outlook but also a 
pantheist of sublime imagination and 
humanitarian tendencies. He retained to 
the last the allegiance of his restless 
princely disciple, who had a fascination 
for the new, and who made almost equally 
intimate acquaintances with several other 
saints. In the preface to his last literary 
production, Sirr-i-Asrar or the Persian 
translation of the Upanishads, Dara 
makes a grateful acknowledgment of his 
debt to his master who inspired him in 
his search for the doctrine of Tauhid 
(Unity of God) in non-Islamic Scriptures. 

Out of what was undoubtedly a con¬ 
siderable mass of correspondence between 
Dara and Mulla Shah only two letters* 

1 Haaanat-uLArifin, Persian text, p. 21-24; p, 31-32. 

2 Though two letters of Mulla Shah have been printed on 
pp. 23-24, and pp. 31-32, they seem to be one and the same 



have come down to us; one written by 
Dara to his Pir on the occasion of his 
getting the title Shah-i-Buland-iqbal and 
the other written by Mulla Shah giving 
the prince some instructions in spiritual 
matters. Mulla Shah writes: “May he 
attain the bliss of vision (Beatific). May 
the lamp of the heart of the enlightened 
ones be safe from the breath of enemies. 
You may have heard that secrets should 
be concealed from outsiders; do keep them 
secret. It may be known to you that one 
should be less inspired in the company of 
those who have less of the grace of God; 
do not warm up too much. It is no secret 
to you that in carrying a work to comple¬ 
tion, one must take pains; do exert your¬ 
self. He who is sincere-hearted in this 
work is surely a lover, and he who is a 
lover is worthy of the blessing of the vision 
(Beatific). The perfect man (Insan-i- 
Kamil ) is he, who is not reprehended by 
any body whether common people, or in¬ 

letter; but the difference in reading being very great, we have 
given tbe texts of both letters, coming through different Mss. 





timates of the inner and innermost circle; 
that is to say, (He is the perfect man) who 
does not omit the performance of any 
work enjoined either by the sharryat 
(the dogma of Islam), or by the tarigat 
the path of esoteric Islam), or by the 
haqiqat (the Truth). First comes Gnosis 
( maarifat ) which is the effect (asar) of 
good company. The second (thing) is the 
concentration of the mind which is the 
result of self-control, and third comes 
shariyat, which means conformity with 
(the ways of) mankind in general. In¬ 
wardly every act (of ours) must conform 
to haqiqat; and outwardly all acts should 
be like those of people at large. Love 
those who hold similar views and shun the 

The above letter is a severe comment 
on some of Dara’s faults of character. 
Without taking into consideration the 
capacity and character of people, Dara 
would communicate indiscreetly great 
spiritual mysteries and practices to his 
readers and neophytes in general. He 
even boasts of his speaking without 


ambiguity, of things which the former 
saints communicated only by subtle hints. 
Such incapacity to keep secrets, such in¬ 
judicious candour was indeed a grave 
defect of Dara’s character. Mulla Shah, 
however intoxicated with divine love he 
might be, was not altogether indifferent 
to the hard realities of the world to which 
he draws the attention of his less practical- 
minded pupil. He interpretes the shariyat 
as conformity with the (usages) mankind 
in general and not of Islam only. This is 
another way of restating Akbar’s cardinal 
doctrine of religious policy i.e. sulh-i-kul 
(peace with all). It was the influence and 
admonition of Mulla Shah that restrained 
the prince from defying the Islamic 
shariyat more openly. Nevertheless, for 
having been a partisan of Dara, the saint 
was summoned from Kashmir to 
Aurangzib’s presence to answer certain 
charges made against him by illiberal 
theologians of his age. “He went very 
reluctantly to Lahor and lived there in 
great distress and fear till his death; but 
all the while thanked God that his life 



Ch. XIV. 

ended as it had begun in poverty. Here 
he died in 1661, and was buried close to 
his master, Mian Mir.” 1 

Section 2.—Dara Shukoh and Shaikh Muhibbullah 

Perhaps the boldest and most original 
thinker and writer among the contempo¬ 
raries of Dara Shukoh was the famous 
Sufi, Shaikh Muhibb-ullah of Allahabad. 
The earliest notices of the Shaikh is to be 
found in Mirat-ul-Khiyal written by Sher 
Khan Lodi, son of Ali Ahmad Khan Lodi, 1 
in the reign of Aurangzib. The Shaikh 
wrote a most difficult book on Sufism in 
Arabic, entitled “ Taswwid ”, in which he 
argues that the Gabriel of the Prophet 
Muhammad was within Muhammad him¬ 
self. Similarly, every prophet had his 
Gabriel within his ownself. Gabriel is not 
a winged angel but a hidden spiritual 
power ( quwwat-i-batini ). When this 

1 Tarikh-i-Kashmiri by Azam, 12! a-122; History of 
Aurangzib, iii., p. 94-95. 

1 Bodleian Library Catalogue of Persian Mss. vol. i., 207. 
But Mtrat-ttUKhiyal published in 1846, Umdat-ul-A khabar 
Press, gives Ali Amzad Khan as Sher Khan*s father's name. 


power overwhelmed the prophets, wahi or 
revelation descended on them. 

Soon after his appointment as the 
absentee viceroy of Allahabad (1645 A.D.), 
Dara wrote a letter to the Shaikh in which 
he says that the subah of Allahabad 
seemed particularly acceptable to him 
because of the presence of His Holiness 
within its jurisdiction. In the same letter 
Dara 2 requested the Shaikh to answer in 
detail 16 questions on Sufism. The Shaikh 
writes in reply a very long letter answer¬ 
ing all the questions to the entire satisfac¬ 
tion of the prince. Dara wrote a second 
letter thanking the Shaikh for his pains 
and intimating his desire to exchange 
ideas with the Shaikh, if he received any 
encouragement from that quarter (i.e. 
from the Shaikh). 

The author of Mirat-u-Khiyal says 
that when Muhibb-ullah’s book happened 
to come 10 the notice of Aurangzib, he 
condemned it severely because, besides the 

2 Dara to Shaikh Mahibb-ullah, Dara Shti\oh, vol, ii., Pers, 
text, 1-2; reply of the Shaikh, ibid,, p. 3-8; second letter,8-10-. 




above mentioned view of Gabriel, there 
were many subtle and ambiguous things 
difficult to comprehend and often running 
counter to the shariyat. Death had by 
this time placed the Shaikh beyond the 
reach of Aurangzib’s vengeance. At last 
two disciples of the Shaikh living in 
retirement were discovered, and them 
Aurangzib called upon either to explain 
their master’s book and reconcile its views 
with the dogmas of Islam, or if unable to 
do so, burn it to ashes. The disciples of 
Shaikh replied to Aurangzib that if His 
Majesty wished to burn the book, 
Taswwid, there was enough fire in the 
royal kitchen to consume it. 1 

Section 3.—Dara Shukoh and Shah Dil-ruba 
Six letters 1 written by Dara Sukoh to 
Shah Dil-ruba are extant in a collection of 
letters, entitled Fayyaz-ul-Qawanin. They 
are the only reliable source of information 
regarding the saint and his relations with 
Dara. These letters were written by Dara 

1 Mirat-ul-Khiyal, Pers. text, p. 228-29. 

1 Dara to Dil-ruba, Pers. text, p. 10-20. 

dara’s letters to dil-ruba 


in reply to letters received by him from 
the saint, which are unfortunately lost, 
perhaps for ever. These letters being with¬ 
out dates, it is very difficult to say exactly 
when the prince came into touch with 
Shah Dil-ruba through correspondence. 
In the first letter Dara writes: “When¬ 
ever I happen to be, whether at Agra or 
in Lahor, my heart remains enchained to 
thine.” Dara invites the Shaikh to the 
Court in a letter ; but the Shaikh probably 
did not visit the prince. The prince writes 
in another letter that he was very eager 
to meet him, and if he could, he would 
have travelled to the Shaikh’s abode by 
making his head perform the functions of 
legs (sar-ra qadarn sakhtah). 2 

2 Dara to Dil-ruba, letter No. 2, Pers. text. It seems Dara 
approached Shah Dil-ruba with the sincere humility of a disciple 
after he had become a murid or disciple of Mulla Shah Badak- 
ehahi. This is borne out by some passages in the last letter 
(No. 6), wherein the prince says that he has referred certain 
points for elucidation to his pir-i-dasigir, meaning certainly 
Mulla Shah, and requests the saint to send back, the table of 
his spiritual descent ( shijra) wrapped up in a letter. As Dara 
refers to Shah Dil-ruba in his book, Hasanat-ul-Arifin , written 
about 1656, they must have known each other considerably 
long before that date. 



Ch. XIV. 

Section 4.—Dara Shukoh and Shaikh Muhsin Fani 

Shaikh Muhsin Fani, “a traveller in 
the subtle path of Sufism” was, according 
to the author of Mirat-ul-Khiyal, an in¬ 
habitant of Kashmir, a man of culture, 
affluence and of pleasant manners. He 
acted for a time as the Sadr or Civil Judge 
of Allahabad in the reign of Shah Jahan;? 
It is said that when Murad Bakhsh cap¬ 
tured Balkh in July, 1646 (the capital of 
Nazar Muhammad Khan) there was found 
in the library of Nazar Muhammad Khan 
among other things a copy of Diwan-i- 
Muhsin Fani in praise of Nazar Muham¬ 
mad. At this the Emperor Shah Jahan got 
angry with Muhsin Fani and deprived him 
of the office of Sadr, though he was given a 
yearly allowance sufficient for his main¬ 
tenance. Since that time he used to live 
in Kashmir and soon became a spiritual 
teacher of high reputation. He built in 
the middle of a garden a square mansion 
with a pucca well ( Hauz) adjacent to it— 
from which this house became known as 
the Hauz-Khana. At noon the Shaikh 


used to sit there, and his disciples went to 
him one at a time for receiving instruc¬ 
tion. The reputation of the Shaikh 
attracted to his fold a penitent courtezan 
named Nazi, matchless for her beauty even 
in Kashmir. The inevitable happened; 
and the Shaikh became fast entangled in 
the noose of Nazi’s love. It is said that 
Jafar Khan, subahdar of Kashmir, had 
also become enamoured of Nazi, who, how¬ 
ever, scorned his overtures and spurned at 
his rich presents. Jafar Khan wrote in 
retaliation some verses giving publicity to 
the scandal in the filthiest language, which 
with an apology, the author of Mirat-ul- 
Khiyal has quoted in his book. 

Dara and Muhsin Fani picked up a 
friendship perhaps during one of the visits 
of the prince to Kashmir. The only 
evidence, hitherto available, of Muhsin 
Fani having been a contemporary and a 
friend of Dara is a letter 1 of the prince to 
Fani and Fani’s reply to it. According to 

1 For the correspondence between Dara and Muhsin Fani, 
Pers. text, p. 30-31; 32-33. 



Ch. XIV. 

the author of Mirat-ul-Khiyal, 1 Muhsin 
Fani died in Kashmir in 1671 A.D. (1081 
A.H.) nearly ten years after the murder of 
Dara. It should be noted here that the 
famous work Dabistan-ul-muzahib, which 
is commonly ascribed to Muhsin Fani, is 

1 Mirat-ul-Khayal (Lithoed. 1846; Umdat-ul Akhbar, Munshi 
Lachchman Prasad), p. 179-180. 

2 Dr. Rieu says, ‘Muhsin Fani, to whom it (Dabisfcm-uF 
Muzahib) has generally been ascribed, is only named in some 
copies, as the author of a Rubai quoted at the beginning of 
work. (Translation, vol. i. p. 3). Our knowledge of the author 
is confined to facts gleaned from some passages in his work, 
in which he incidentally refers to himself. From these he 
appears to have been brought up in the faith of the Sipasis, 
also called Abadis, a branch of the Parsis. 

The work was probably completed shortly after 1063 A.H., 
and certainly before A.H. 1068 for Dara Shukoh is spoken of 
in the last chapter xx vol. iii, p. 285, as being still at the 
height of his power. Although the author is nowhere expli¬ 
citly named, it is not improbable that the name of Mubad, 
which appears in connection with some verses .... was his 
takfxallu* or poetical designation. Indeed Mubad Shah is 
named as the author in one of our copies . . . .” (Catalogue 
of Persian Mss. in the British Museum, i. 141-142). 

We may only remark that Dr. Rieu is not perhaps quite 
justified in holding that the author of Dabisian was a Parsi; 
because in a certain passage the author says that he made 
a pilgrimage to Mecca, where he met a follower of the false 
prophet Musailama, and was asked by that man to make a 
pilgrimage to the tomb of Musailama. Why should a Parsi 
make a pilgrimage to Mecca? 


nowhere mentioned in the Mirat-ul-Khiyal 
as one of the works of Fani. This proves 
perhaps beyond a doubt that both Muhsin 
Fani, and the author of Dabistan-ul- 
Muzahib, though contemporaries and 
friends of Dara Shukoh, were not one and 
the same person. The author of Dabistan, 
who several times quotes Dara as an 
authority on Sufism, probably completed 
his work before the year 1658 A.D., 
because any event of a later date (such 
as the overthrow of Dara’s power and 
execution of Sarmad) is not noticed in that 
book. Such being the case, the author of 
Mirat-ul-Khayal could have hardly 
omitted to include Dabistan among the 
works of Fani, if he had written any such 

Section 5.—Dara Shukoh and Sarmad the Mystic 
Sarmad is perhaps the pen-name 
of a Jew whose original name is not 
known, but who after his conversion 
to Islam received the name of Muham¬ 
mad Said. Authorities differ on the 
nationality and parentage of Sarmad. The 



Ch. XIV. 

author of Dabistan-ul-Muzahib written 
about 1657 A.D. says that Sarmad was a 
Jew. The author of Mirat-ul-Khiyal, 
(written during the reign of Aurangzib) 
asserts, we do not know on what authority, 
—that Sarmad was originally from 
Farangistan and was an Armenian; and 
Valih Daghistani, author of Riaz-ush- 
Shaura, written in the time of Emperor 
Muhammad Shah, gives Kashan as his 
native place. Even if Sarmad was an 
Armenian, he was not perhaps an 
Armenian Christian; because the author 
of Dabistan says that he derived his 
information of Jewish religion from 
Muhammad Said Sarmad, whom he met 
in Hyderabad Sind in 1057 (1647 A.D.), 
“who originally came of the learned of 
the Jews, from a sect who are known as 
Ribbani, and who (Sarmad), after learn¬ 
ing the principles of Jewish faith and 
studying Taurit became a Musalman.” 1 

Muhammad Said started his career 
as a merchant and came to Tatta (Sind) 

l Dabtslan, text, fol. 2476. 



for trade. But there he fell in love with 
a Baniya boy named Abhaichand so 
violently that he lost the equilibrium of 
his mind altogether. Sarmad wooed the 
boy with much assiduity and made a 
god of him; he says in one of his verses, 
“I do not know if in this world my God 
is Abhaichand or some one else” ( khuda- 
i-man Abhaichdnddst yd digar). Abhai¬ 
chand also became so much attached to 
him that he could not bear to live apart 
from him. Sarmad and Abhaichand after 
sometime left Tatta, and came during 
their wandering to the court of Abdullah 
Qutb Shah of Golconda, Being dis¬ 
appointed there they came to Delhi 
toward the close of Shah Jahan’s reign 
and began to live there enjoying the 
devotion and patronage of Prince Dara 
Shukoh. The author of Mirat-ul-Khiyal 
says, “As Prince Dara Shukoh was in¬ 
clined to the society of maniacs ( majdnin ) 
he kept his (Sarmad’s) company, and 
enjoyed his discourses for a considerable 
period.” 1 

I Mirat-ul-Khiyal, p. 104. 



Ch. XIV. 

But there is a plane of existence 
wherefrom saints like Sarmad whom the 
worldly-wise people call mad, think no 
better of the common run of men and 
hate to be called wise ( ddnishmanddn). 
Dara Shukoh was still in the noose of 
scholasticism when he met the great saint 
who, having already enough of scholar¬ 
ship, had bidden adieu to it as useless in 
the path of God. Dara writes to Sarmad : 
“Master (pir u murshid-i-mari), every day 
this humble self desires to go to you, but 
has not been successful. If ‘I am I’ (agar 
man man-m ), why this annulment of my 
‘will’? And if I am not I, where is my 
remissness? If the murder of Imam 
Husain was the Will of God, then who is 
Yazid coming in between ? And if it was 
not the will of God, what is the explana¬ 
tion of it ? The Prophet goes to a fight 
with the kafirs, and defeat befalls the 
army of Islam; the ulemas of official 
Islam ( ulema-i-zahiri) say that this is ‘a 
lesson in patience’ (taalim-i-sabr) ; but 
where is the necessity of a lesson ( taalim) 



to him who has reached the end (of 
spiritual progression). 

The saint replied in a sentence that 
he had silenced the sciences he had once 
read. It is said that Sarmad used to 
pronounce only the negative part of the 
formula of Islam i.e. “There is no deity.” 
If he was asked the reason of it he would 
say, “I am absorbed in the negative and 
have not yet come to the positive. .Why 
shall I tell a lie?” Sarmad was really 
not an atheist, but a panthiest; but both 
being equally damnable in the eyes of 
orthodoxy, the mullas were only waiting 
for an opportunity to be avenged on the 

After Dara’s murder, Sarmad with 
his boundless influence over the citizens 
of Delhi was looked upon by Aurangzib 
as politically dangerous. Besides, a 
charge of heresy and violation of Islamic 
ordinances was made out against him by 
the court theologians. Sarmad was given 
the alternative of either covering his 



Ch. XIV. 

nudity or parting with his head. The 
saint chose the latter and died a true 
martyr’s death welcoming the executioner 
and his naked sword with a smile and 
laying his head unmoved on the block. 
He is said to have uttered the following 
verse when the executioner’s sword was 
about to descend on his saintly head: 

“There was an uproar, and we 
opened our eyes from the eternal 

We saw the night of wickedness 
still endured; and so we slept 

Sarmad, who lost his head on a 
charge of heresay was canonised a saint 
by the people at large. His severed head, 
it is said, recited like that of Dara Shukoh 
the whole of the Kalima, a miracle which 
Valih Daghistani mentions on the autho¬ 
rity of Khalifa Ibrahim Badakhshi, who 
perhaps heard it with his own ears! 
Sarmad’s tomb, which lies east of the 
Jama Masjid of Delhi on the other side 


of the road is even today a place of popular 
worship. 1 

1 The major portion of this section is based on Moulvi 
Abdul Ali’s article on Sarmad in J. A. S. B. 1924, p. Ill and 
following. For other references to Sarmad’s life see History 
of Aurangzib , iii., p. 95 footnote. 

Mr. B. A. Hashimi has recently contributed a learned 
article (to be continued) in the “Islamic Culture , October, 1933, 
pp. 663-672. He holds that the emigrant ancestors of Sarmad 
were European Jews who had migrated to Armenia, and that 
prior to his coming to India Sarmad lived in Kashan. 



Section 1.—Dara and Auranczib contrasted 

“Dara . . . was a man of dignified 
manners, of a comely countenance, joyous 
and polite in conversation, ready and 
gracious of speech, of extraordinary 
liberality, kindly and compassionate, but 
over-confident in his own opinion of 
himself, considering him competent in 
all things, and having no need of advisers. 
Thus it was that his dearest friends never 
ventured to inform him of the most 
essential things. Still it was easy to dis¬ 
cover his intentions.” 1 The above re¬ 
marks on the character of Dara from the 
friendly pen of Manucci are substantially 
borne out by the following words of the 
less sympathetic Bernier: “Dara was not 
deficient in good qualities: he was 
courteous in conversation, quick at re¬ 
partee, polite and extremely liberal: but 

1 Storia, i. 221. 



he entertained too exalted an opinion of 
himself; believed he could accomplish 
everything by the powers of his own 
mind .... He was also very irascible; 
apt to menace, abusive and insulting even 
to great omrahs; but his anger was 

seldom more than momentary.” z 

Indeed it was notorious that Dara’s 
thunder was not half as dreadful as the 
faint smile of Aurangzib. 

The foregoing chapters, particularly 
those dealing with his political career, 
are an ample commentary on the defects 
of Dara’s character. But his virtues were 
his own, while his weaknesses, which 
leaned only to virtue’s side, were the 
unhappy accidents of a combination of 
circumstances. These defects are the 
more deplorable because of their conjunc¬ 
tion with sterling merits and noble inten¬ 
tions; and they loom unreasonably large 
because of his failure in the field of 
politics and war. However, there was 
something in Dara’s character which in 

2 Constable, Bernier’s Travels, p. 6. 



Ch. XV. 

spite of his weaknesses and indiscretion 
endeared him to all but his inveterate 
enemies. Long after the murder of Dara, 
Manucci during his tour through Bihar 
happened to meet at Patna a man named 
Abul Qasim, and their conversation 
having turned on the fate of the unfor¬ 
tunate prince, Abul Qasim sincerely re¬ 
gretted that he had no opportunity of 
testifying his love and devotion to the 
prince, though he had done him some 
wrong and injustice. 

Prince Dara Shukoh is often pro¬ 
nounced as a failure in history. This is 
perhaps an injustice to Dara as well as 
an insult to the modern conception of 
history. History cannot but judge a 
man by the criterion of the sum-total 
of the good done by him to his 
own species. Judged by this standard, 
Aurangzib’s half a century of barren 
rule was the most conspicuous failure 
in Indian history. Dara expiated 
for his failure in his own person; 
while the success of Aurangzib affected 
adversely the political destiny of a whole 



continent. Dara proved a failure in war 
and state-craft because he made them the 
secondary objects of his pursuit. He 
devoted the greater part of his time and 
energy to carrying on a literary propa¬ 
ganda for the promotion of peace and 
concord between the better minds in 
Islam and Hinduism. It is hardly an 
exaggeration to say that anyone who in¬ 
tends to take up the solution of the 
problem of religious peace in India must 
begin the work where Dara had left it, 
and proceed on the path chalked out by 
that prince. The world has not become 
richer in any way by the long reign of 
Aurangzib; but it would have been 
certainly poorer without a Dara Shukoh. 

Dara and Aurangzib present a most 
perfect contrast, having been cast by 
nature in different moulds altogether. 
Both stood head and shoulders above 
their contemporaries, one in the domain 
of thought and the other in the field of 
action. Aurangzib was not without an 
element of mysticism in him ; but he never 
forgot the maxim, “Religious mysticism 



CH. XV. 

is one thing, practical business is another.’’ 
Dara and Aurangzib were equally faith¬ 
ful to Islam ; the former being true to the 
spirit only and the latter to the very letter 
of his religion. Each had his own idealism. 
Dara thought of rescuing the spirit of the 
Prophet’s creed which was being crushed 
under the dead weight of the dogmatism 
of the mullas. His ambition was to 
supplant exoteric Islam by esoteric 
mysticism as a living moral force among 
the Muslim intellectuals. He appears in 
the role of a peace-maker between the 
Hindus and the Muslims; his task being 
to interpret to each community the 
highest truths of the religion of the other 
in a most intelligent and acceptable 
manner. Aurangzib was a militant pan- 
Islamist to whom the only solution of the 
quarrel of creeds appeared to be the con¬ 
version of the whole world to Islam. 
Dara and Aurangzib personify respect¬ 
ively the spirit of progress and of reac¬ 
tion. The forces of conservatism and 
reaction having been stronger in the 
Middle Ages, it is no wonder that 


Aurangzib triumphed over Dara. The 
fight between the spirit of Dara and the 
spirit of Aurangzib has been continually 
going on in Islam, and indeed in every 
community and everywhere in the world 
with varying fortune. 

As regards Dara Shukoh some 
modern Muslim writers even share almost 
Aurangzib’s sentiments towards his 
eldest brother, who was in his opinion a 
schemer in politics, a vain pretender in 
the domain of spirituality, a polytheist 
himself and a friend of polytheists, good 
for nothing except talking and laughing. 
However even granting that Dara was 
bankrupt in good deeds, and guilty of 
every calumny charged against him, none 
can possibly doubt that the Prince, like 
Abou Ben Adam might with a conscience 
much cleaner than that of Aurangzib— 
say to the good angel: “Write me as one 
that loves his fellow men.” 

However, inspite of the unfavourable 
verdict of history Aurangzib shall ever 
remain the hero of popular imagination 
which is hardly affected by historical 



CH. XV. 

criticism. The homage of love and 
admiration which the Mtislims pay to 
him is not due to the peculiar mentality 
of that community. Had he been born 
among the Hindus or the Christians and 
did as much for them, he would have been 
hailed with no less popular applause than 
what he receives today from his own 
community. His is a character just 
suited to fire popular imagination which 
always paints the ideal hero as one who 
does not deviate even by a hair from the 
traditional path of Dharma (Law), restores 
religion to its purity, represses the enemies 
of his faith, subdues the wicked, protects 
the pious, spurns the seductions of softer 
vices, labours not for his own enjoyment 
but to discharge his duty to his people, 
lives and dies a poor man in the midst 
of the wealth of Hind with a character 
without weaknesses and without any 
moral stain. Nowhere in the world and 
in no age, the hero of popular imagina¬ 
tion has ever been the real historical 
character, Charlemagne, Harun-al-Rashid, 
Peter the Great, and Shivaji in the light 


of historical research are not as they 
figure in the imagination of the un¬ 
lettered mass of their own countrymen. 
If the ideal king Ramchandra cannot be 
blamed for cutting off the head of a Sudra 
ascetic, as the poet Bhavabhuti paints his 
hero,—Aurangzib can hardly be blamed 
for putting Sarmad and Dara to death, or 
what he did towards those whom he 
deemed the enemies of true religion. The 
misfortune of Aurangzib was that he 
lived in a historical age, and had the full 
light of history focussed on him. 

Section 2.—Thf Character of Dara Shukoh 


The character of the Emperor Shah 
Jahan partook of a double nature—an 
actual combination of Muslim orthodoxy 
and the profane tradition of the age of 
Akbar. He was Dara and Aurangzib in 
one; the latter representing the “other 
side of the medal.” The reign of Shah 
Jahan was a period of transition from the 
enlightened nationalism of Akbar to the 
gloomy orthodox reaction of the days of 



CH. XV. 

Aurangzib. Outwardly his regime was a 
continuation of the Age of Akbar; though 
beneath the surface, the strong under¬ 
current of reaction was sapping the 
foundation of the empire. However his 
court still remained a happy meeting 
ground of Hindu and Muslim cultures, 
and genius and skill in the field of litera¬ 
ture and fine art were liberally rewarded 
without any discrimination of creed. Of 
all the Mughal Emperors of Hindustan, 
Shah Jahan was peculiarly fortunate in 
receiving the approbation and applause 
of both his Muslim and Hindu subjects; 
and he perhaps deserved it. The mulla 
hailed him as the real Mahdi (Guide), 
coming after Akbar, the Dajjal and 
Antichrist of Islam. The pandit was also 
equally warm in his praise of Shah Jahan, 
and the most gifted among them, Pandit- 
raj Jagannath eulogized him in a verse 
which has since then become proverbial. 


uni: *nr 



i.e.., either the Lord of Delhi or the Lord 
of the Universe is alone capable of fulfil- 
ing desires. What is given by other kings 
may suffice only for buying pot-herbs or 

But this cultured and benevolent 
despot was essentially a bigot not a whit 
less obdurate than Aurangzib. Shah 
Jahan was a lover of poetry, but as 
anecdotes tell us, his fanaticism would 
invariably get the better of his literary 
judgment. It is said that the poet Shaida 
(the Mad), was banished the country for 
composing the couplet: 

Chi-st- dani bada-i-gulgun musaffa- 

Husn-ra parawar-digar u ishq-ra 

i.e. “Dost thou know what Wine is, which 
is crimson like the rose, and pure and 
sparkling like a gem? It is the nourisher 
of Beauty, the message-bearer of Love.” 

Shah Jahan’s orthodoxy fired up 
and displaying a sad lack of humour, he 
became violently angry with the poet, 



Ch. XV. 

who had blasphemously associated the 
names of God and the Prophet with the 
forbidden liquor. The poet could win 
back his favour only by writing an 
apology and quoting in self-defence the 
authority of Maulana Rumi . 1 

Dara and Aurangzib inherited res¬ 
pectively the non-essential and the essen¬ 
tial elements of Shah Jahan’s character. 
Strong family affections, love of pomp 
and magnificence, a generous apprecia¬ 
tion of learning and scholarship, a refined 
taste in music and painting, and a weak¬ 
ness for astrology 1 and astronomy were 
Dara’s share; but of Shah Jahan’s shrewd¬ 
ness, keen insight into human character, 

1 Mirat-ul-Khayal by Sher Khan Lodi, p. 109-11. Thi® 
Shaida was not the famous poet Shaida Gilani. The author 
of Mir<st~ul*Khayal says that he belonged to the family of the 
Shaikh-zadas of Fathpur Sikri. From another instance of Shah 
Jahan’s lack of humour, see the anecdote of Shah Jehan and 
poet Chandrabhan Brahmin, ibid., p. 154-155. 

1 Greek and Hindu astrology and astronomy were much 
studied in the reign of Shah Jahan. Jagannath who received 
the title of Mahakavi-rai translated the Arabic “Almagist”, 
Optolemy*® work on Astronomy) into Sanskrit under the title 
“Siddhantasara-Kaustubha”. He compiled another work on 
Astronomy and named it Samral-Siddhanta [Gaekavad’s 
Oriental Series]. 


severely practical turn of mind, indefatig¬ 
able business capacity and love for 
routine work, Bara had none. The Crown 
Prince was nevertheless a man of fine 
capabilities, endowed with courage and 
energy, physical and mental. His man¬ 
hood could not grow to its full stature 
because unlike other great characters in 
history, he began his life, so to say, at the 
wrong end, i.e. with a silver spoon in his 
mouth. The practical side of Bara’s 
character remained undeveloped because 
at the beginning of his career, he found 
before him nothing tangible, nothing 
material to strive after such as Akbar, 
Shah Jahan and Aurangzib had had 
before them in their early life. 

Bara’s share in the glory of Shah 
Jahan’s reign was not inconsiderable. He 
and Jahanara formed a wholesome 
counter-poise to the forces of reaction 
headed by Aurangzib and Sadullah Khan. 
There is a strong reason for holding that 
the abolition of the pilgrim tax on Hindus 1 

1 It is also surprising that Padshahnama, which was 
regularly read out to the Emperor Shah Jahan and corrected 



Ch. XV. 

and restoration of the desecrated Chinta- 
man temple were two great successes 
scored by Dara over the reactionaries. 
As regards the abolition of the pilgrim- 
tax, we learn from the biographical notice 
of Kavindracharya Saraswati, that Shah 
Jahan and Dara Shukoh shed tears at the 
eloquent and touching appeal of Kavindra 
in the Darbar-i-Am. It hardly admits of 
any doubt that it was only the close 
personal friendship of Kavindra with 
Dara (who was initiated by him into the 
mysteries of the Yoga and Vedanta 
philosophy)—that secured such a great 
concession for the Hindus from the 

by the great wazir Sadullah Khan, does not contain even the 
remotest reference to one of the most benevolent acts of Shah 
Jahan, namely the remission of the pilgrim tax on the Hindus, 
which, after its abolition by Akbar had been revived in the 
reign of Jahangir. This he did at the prayers of a Hindu 
deputation, headed by Kavindracharya Saraswati, who, we are 
told, received more than one hundred congratulatory addresses 
from the leaders of the Hindu community throughout the 
Mughal Empire; and among these addresses one was from 
Mahamopadhyaya Viswanath Nyayapanchanan, the famous 
Naiyayika of Bengal, then residing at Benares and finally at 
Brindavan. [Gaekwad’s Oriental Series No. XVII Kavindra* 
charya’s list, Foreward, V.] 


bigoted emperor Shah Jahan. Apart 
from Dara’s spirit of toleration and his 
pro-Hindu proclivities, the very fact that 
Aurangzib had desecrated the temple of 
Chintaman, perhaps induced Dara to 
exert himself in its restoration. This 
restoration to idol-worship of a place 
where once the cry of muazzin had been 
heard and the Musalmans knelt in 
prayers—was, perhaps without a prece¬ 
dent in the history of Muslim rule in 
India. The injunction of the Islamic Law 
might be in favour of the immunity of 
old places of worship of the infidel sub¬ 
jects; but no injunction could prevail 
against a despot’s whim if it was not 
backed by sufficient moral force. 

The court-history of Shah Jahan 
does not refer to any temple destruction 
later than January, 1633. A farm an of 
Shah Jahan granted to Goswami Vithal 
Rai Tikayat of Govardhannath, resident 
at Gokul in the 6th ( ?) Regnal year 
tells us that the lands of mauza (village) 
Jatipura had been granted by him to the 
Goswami “for his use and for the expenses 



CH. XV. 

of the Thakordwara, tax-free.” There is 
no denying of the fact, that generally 
speaking, from the 10th year onwards the 
policy of Shah Jahan toward the Hindus 
shows a change for the better, which 
certainly was due to the growing in¬ 
fluence of Dara and Jahanara at court. 
The three lists of mansabdars (two in 
Abdul Hamid’s text and one in Waris), 
given at the end of each ten yearly cycle 
of Shah Jahan’s reign furnish a useful 
study of the increased percentage of 
Hindu mansabdars in the Mughal army. 
During the last ten years of the reign the 
increase in the higher grades was double, 
and in lower grades almost threefold. 

1 “Imperial Formans” by K. ML Jhavari, New Printing 
Press, Bombay. 

Farman No. VI; date has been read as 6th lllahi year. 
Farman No. VII which is refers to exemption from some dues, 
was, according to the reading of the translator, issued only 
after an interval of one month. Farman No. VIII is only a 
niahan of Dara Shukoh in the handwriting of Dara’a Diwan 
Abdul Karim. It runs thus : * as Vithai Rai .... has his 
residence in Qasba Gokul, (and) as this place is the native 
place of the above-mentioned person, he has got his property 
and cattle there, it is ordered that no one should molest or 
disturb. . . 



When the War of Succession broke out 
there were two Hindu chiefs above the 
rank of 5-hazari, a unique recognition of 
Hindu merit which was never again seen 
since the death of Akbar. Data’s pro¬ 
nounced Hindu sympathies and his active 
and generous patronage of Hindus con¬ 
cealed from Hindu eyes the darker side 
of Shah Jahan’s rule. He was also the 
maker of the cultural history of the reign 
of Shah Jahan, and minus this cultural 
history, the reign of Shah Jahan has little 
to boast of except his buildings. 

Section 3.—Dara Shukoh and Akbar the Great 

Dara Shukoh appears at first sight to 
have been a re-incarnation of the spirit 
of his great-grand father. But as a matter 
of fact there has yet been no second 
Akbar among the rulers and thinkers of 
the Muslim world. Throughout the entire 
course of Indian history none, except 
Asoka perhaps, excels him. His reign 
was characterised by an intellectual and 
religious revolt, and the birth of Indian 




CH. XV. 

nationalism in politics as well as in the 
Fine arts and literature. Strictly speak¬ 
ing there cannot be a just comparison 
between Akbar and Dara; because the 
genius of the former was all-comprehen¬ 
sive and of epic grandeur; while that 
of the latter was essentially lyric in 
character. They stand in striking con¬ 
trast as regards their mental traits; 
Dara being essentially a mystic and in- 
tuitionalist; while Akbar was pre¬ 
eminently a rationalist, “a disciple of 
his own reason, 1 compared with Akbar 
even Caliph Mamun, would appear a 
timid conservative. 

In Akbar the qualities of the head 
and the heart were nicely balanced, which 
was not the case with Dara, whose in¬ 
tellectual faculties were weaker than the 
qualities of his heart. As seekers after 
God, they also stand in different cate¬ 
gories; Akbar being highly intellectual, 
and Dara highly emotional. Akbar’s God 
was an objective God, while the God of 
Dara was an experience. Having realised 


God as the Truth, as they claimed, Akbar 
took up as his motto to do the will of God, 
strive after more knowledge about Him, 
practise heroic stoicism and self-intros¬ 
pection ; while Dara, like Sarmad and 
Mulla Shah, threw away knowledge and 
reason to the four winds, and plunged 
deep into the joy of union with Him. Or, 
in Hindu phraseology Akbar was a Yogin, 
and Dara, a Bhakta; the former in his 
attitude to God being compared to the 
young one of a monkey clinging fast to 
the mother’s bosom by its own determina¬ 
tion and unaided strength; the latter 
resembling a kitten, mewing helplessly 
till its mother comes, and lifts it up 
bodily. It is said, however, that in the 
path of God, Knowledge is blind and Faith 
lame; and each is helpless without the 
other’s aid in attaining to Truth. It is 
no wonder that Akbar’s rationalism ended 
in mysticism; for, God is beyond the 
reach of reason. Dara was a god-intoxi¬ 
cated man to whom his stoic great-grand 
father, weary of search and keeping vigil, 
might as well have said: 



CH. XV. 

uraTrapGtawgvirc vrresr* ^ inft i 

i.e. “We are undone by the inquiry 
of truth ; 

Thou, bee, art indeed blessed.” 

Superficial observers and blind fana¬ 
tics bracket Dara and Akbar together as 
atheists, hypocrites and opportunists, 
men destitute of all religions. Dara and 
Akbar regarded the so-called orthodox 
enthusiasts of every creed as religious 
fools, who, however, thought no better of 
them than as ungodly knaves. In truth, 
Dara and Akbar never denied the exist¬ 
ence of God; but their god was incom¬ 
prehensible to the average Musalman, 
Christian or Jew; because such a god 
was neither the exclusive patron of the 
children of Ismail nor of the progeny of 
Israel. A god without his chosen seed ” 
without a particular love for mono¬ 
theists and hatred for polytheists, was 
hardly an intelligible being to Semetic 
races. Dara and Akbar have been called 
hypocrites, because they were not pre¬ 
pared to hold only one religion to be true 


and all others false, and because they 
would not testify their love for one religion 
by hating and persecuting all others. They 
were large-hearted seers of truth, and as 
such quite content to leave “heresy to 
the heretic, and religion to the orthodox .” 
Theirs was the policy of Sulh-i-kul or 
“‘Peace with all.” Akbar is said to have 
deviated from this policy only with regard 
to Islam, because, in his opinion, the 
official Islam was a stumbling block to 
progress and disloyal to the state. Like 
many modern thinkers both in the East 
and the West, Akbar was under a strong 
impression that the Islam of Shaikh 
Abdun Nabi and Mulla Abdullah Sultan- 
puri was incompatible with progress and 

Akbar had built up a national 
empire and started it on a new career of 
progress by founding national schools of 
painting architecture, music and litera¬ 
ture, which contained the best elements 
of Indian as well as Islamic arts and 
culture. He attempted the same thing in 
religion too, and established a new sect 



CH. XV. 

by adulterating the pure monotheism of 
Islam with cruder beliefs and pagan 
element-worship of Aryan and Iranian 
cults. But Akbar’s contemporaries in the 
East were mere pigmies in comparison 
with his mighty genius and were hope¬ 
lessly mistaken in comprehending the 
high idealism of Akbar as the blind men 
of the fable were in forming the idea of 
an elephant. They condemned Akbar as 
a polytheist and sun-worshipper. A few 
like Abul Fazl and Faizi 1 could only 
understand aright his philosophy; the 
latter has immortalised in a qasidah, the 
mystery of Akbar’s sun-worship. 

Qismat nigar ki dar khur-i-har 

Ayina ba Sikandar u ba-Akbar 

U-me-kunad mu’aina-i-khud dar 

V in me-kunad mushahdah-i- 
haq dar aftab. 

i.e., look to the divine dispensation that 

1 Faizi*s Nal~Daman, Introduction. 


everything is given to him that suits his 
nature; a mirror to Alexander, and the 
sun to Akbar. The former sees his own 
self in the mirror ; but the latter sees the 
Truth in the sun. 

It is noteworthy that similar thought- 
waves were stirring men’s minds in the 
West and the East during the sixteenth 
century, which in Europe was character¬ 
ised by an intellectual ferment, the rise 
of religious reformers, the growth of 
national monarchies, the ambition and 
policy of national despots to be supreme 
governors of the State and the national 
Church, and the elimination of extra¬ 
territorial influences from the political 
and religious life of the people. Akbar 
made a supreme effort to free Indian 
Islam from Arabicism and adapt it to the 
needs of India, as the Persians had 
evolved Shiaism to make Islam suited to 
their national genius. 

Even the Musalmans who deny that 
Akbar was a Muslim, never doubt that 
Dara Shukoh was a Muslim inspite of all 
his pantheistic ideas. Dara and Akbar, 



CH. XV. 

though alike in their attitude of peace 
with all religions, yet differed as poles 
asunder in their attitude towards Islam. 
Akbar was one of those who, as one of 
his sayings goes, “do not believe in divine 
books, nor credit that the Supreme essence 
that is tongue-less will express itself in 
human speech.” 1 And to him Traditions 
( Hadith ) were no proofs: “Many simple¬ 
tons, worshippers of imitative custom, 
mistake the traditions of the ancients for 
the dictates of reason, and garner for 
themselves eternal perdition.” 2 But any 
piece of writing of Dara Shukoh will 
reveal the fact that quotations from the 
Quran and the Traditions are used by 
him as the most conclusive of proofs. 
Dara believed not only in the Quran but 
also in the Vedas as “the Word of God” 
( kalam-i-Ilahi ). The acceptance or the 
story of physical ascent ( mihraj-i-jismdni) 
is regarded almost as an article of faith 
among the orthodox Muslims, who believe 

1 Jarrett’a Ain-i-Akbari, iii. 380. 

2 Ibid., 382 . 


that the Prophet made this journey to 
Heaven in his physical body. Akbar 
rejected the story as absurd, because it 
was physically impossible. The ration¬ 
alists of Islam ( mutazilites) make a sort 
of compromise by holding that the Ascen¬ 
sion was made not in the physical body 
but in the subtle body. Dara’s opinion 
veers to the side of the orthodox party. 
He says in Risalah-i-Haqnuma that the 
Prophet used to practise prandydm 
(award burd) or controlling of breath in 
the cave of Hara, and as a result of it his 
body became lighter than air, and more 
transparent than diamond; where, then, 
was the impossibility that the Prophet in 
his rarified physical body ascended the 
seventh heaven ■ This belief of Dara is 
no doubt as crude as that of our pious 
Musalman villagers of Bengal who will 
tell you many a story that such and such 
a Pir travels overnight to Mecca and 
after offering namaz at Kaba returns to 
his praying carpet before day-break! 

If there is any truth in Badayuni’s 
malicious allegations, Akbar, like the 



CH. XV. 

philosopher A1 Kindi subjected the moral 
character of the Prophet to a scandalous 
analysis, interdicted his name, and 
pushed him aside as a back number 
among the prophets, and himself usurped 
his position. But Dara never entertained 
or tolerated any such idea towards the 
prophet of Arabia. He always regarded 
him with the deepest veneration as the 
fountainhead of all knowledge, esoteric 
and exoteric; his quarrel being always 
with the narrow-minded mullas and their 
interpretation of the Quran and the Tradi¬ 
tions. Akbar disobeyed the holy injunc¬ 
tion that Muhammad was the last of the 
prophets, and he aspired to form an 
ummat (politico-religious brotherhood) of 
his own; Dara, on the other hand, never 
put forward any such pretensions, but 
only claimed to be an Insan-i-kamil or 
perfect man,—a claim not incompatible 
with orthodox Islam. 

About the religion of Dara Shukoh, 
Bernier says, “Born a Mahometan, he 
continued to join in the exercise of that 
religion; but although thus publicity pro- 



fessing his adherence to its faith, Dara 
was in private a Gentile with Gentiles, 
and a Christian with a Christian.” 1 There 
seems to be no doubt that Dara never 
refused at least outward conformity to 
Islam, and this is enough to meet the 
charge of apostacy against him; because 
Islam like the Roman Catholicism of the 
Middle Ages never enjoins Inquisition 
into men’s thoughts and private actions. 

The charges of heresy against him, 
such as his wearing a ring with the word 
prabhu inscribed in Hindi characters on 
it, his association with Hindu ascetics, 
and his gift of a stone railing to the 
temple of Keshab Rai which Aurangzib 
brought against Dara to justify a political 
murder—have been dismissed by the 
historian of Aurangzib as insufficient to 
condemn him of heresy. As we have 
already noticed Dara’s views on the main 
articles of the Muslim faith did not differ 
substantially from those of the orthodox 
school except on the point whether an 

1 Travels of Bernier , Constable, p. 6. 



Ch. XV. 

Arif (gnostic) who has known and caught 
a glimpse of the unveiled face of Truth 
can claim exemption from compliance 
with the injunctions of the shariyat. 
Dara, unlike the Sufis of the moderate 
school, held that after the dawn of Truth 
(Haqiqat), a gnostic becomes free from 
the rigor of religious discipline (Shariyat). 
But it was a matter of opinion only. His 
views seem to have afterwards been 
sobered down under the sharp reprimand 
of his pir Mulla Shah Badakhshi. And, 
as Bernier bears it. out, Dara never 
neglected outward conformity with Islam, 
though he might not have been as 
rigorous in fasting and praying as 
Aurangzib. The fatum of the divines who 
signed the decree of Dara’s death need 
not be taken very seriously. Like the 
Stuart judges they were lions under the 
king’s throne and could be made to do 
anything for a consideration; the most 
notorious instance being the fatwa of 
deposition against Aurangzib himself 
issued by the Maulanas in the pay of his 
rebellious son Akbar, on the ground that 


this Emperor (a saint canonised during 
his lifetime)—on account of his un- 
Islamic conduct was unworthy to rule 
over Musalmans! 

It is true that Dara wore a ring 
inscribed with the word prabhu, and that 
he made the gift of a stone railing to the 
temple of Kashav Rai at Mathura. But 
these were not proofs of his heresy. Dara 
would not have been found fault with if 
the word prabhu were replaced on his 
ring by its Arabic equivalent al'Rabb. 
To the ear of a Mulla prabhu sounded 
like an anathema, and the sight of the 
Hindi script offended his eyes as a pro¬ 
fanation; because the illiberal Mullas as 
well as the illiterate Muslim mass in those 
days—as in ours too—look upon the 
Arabic language and the Arabic script 
with superstitious veneration, as if 
Arabic were the only language and the 
only script acceptable to God, just as the 
Christian god of the Western Church 
understood only Latin in the Middle Ages 
and Hindu god till now understands 
nothing but Sanskrit! Dara’s ring was an 



CH. XV. 

open protest against this popular super¬ 
stition. It was but a materialization of 
the great truth contained in the follow¬ 
ing couplet of his: 

Ba-nam-i-ankeh u nam-e na-darad; 
ba-har nam-e ke khwani sar bar 

i.e. In the name of Him who has got no 
name; but who responds to whatever 
name you choose to call Him by.” 

As regards the fate of the temple 
honoured by Dara Shukoh, the historian 
of Aurangzib writes: “On 14th October, 
1666, learning that there was a stone 
railing in the temple of Kashav Rai, 
which Dara Shukoh had presented to it, 
Aurangzib ordered it to be removed, as a 
scaldalous example of a Muslim’s coque¬ 
try with idolatry. And finally in January 
1670, his zeal stimulated by the pious 
meditations of Ramzan, led him to send 
forth commands to destroy this temple 
altogether, and to change the name of the 



city of Mathura to Islamabad.” 1 But this 
gift was perhaps not a case of a Muslim 
coquetting with idolatry, but the most 
courageous and convincing proof of Dara’s 
loyalty to his idealism and philosophy. 
Dara more than once declared: “ba-zer-i- 
but imanist pinhani.e. Faith (imam) 
lies hidden beneath the idol”; and this 
gift was only a genuine sentiment 
translated into action. In fact, had there 
been no such concrete example of Dara’s 
sincerity, critics would have been justi¬ 
fied in treating his lofty and catholic 
sentiments as little better than common¬ 
place Sufistic effusions. 

Dara and Akbar stand unique among 
the Muslim thinkers of India as regards 
their moral courage and sincerity of con¬ 
viction. Akbar built a temple in Kashmir, 
and inscribed on it a note of warning as 
it were to bigots of every creed born 
and unborn : “He who from insincere 
motives destroys this temple, should first 
destroy his own place of worship; for, if 

1 Sir Jadunath Sarkar’s Hist, of Aurangzib, iii., p. 267. 



CH. XV. 

we follow the dictates of the heart, we 
must bear up with all men; but if we look 
to the external, we find every thing proper 
to be destroyed.” This was perhaps also 
the sentiment that prompted Dara to 
respect the external worship of every 
community. If we compare the position 
of Dara with that of Akbar, and the 
dangers which each had to encounter in 
publishing their faith, the stone-railing of 
Dara outweighs the temple of Akbar in 
the scale of moral courage. 

Peace be to the soul of Prince Dara 
Shukoh, who desreves well of his country. 
His great message to his countrymen 
shall ever find an eloquent echo in the 
following lines of a derwish : 

Hindu kahe son ham bade, 

Musalmdn kahti ham 

Ek mung-ka do fand hai, 

kun ziyada Jam kam. 

Kun ziyada kun kam , 

karna nahi kajiya; 

Ek Rdm-kd bhagat hai , 

duje Rahmdn-se raziya; 


Kahe 'Been Darvish’ doy saritan, 

mil ek sindhui 
Sahib sab-da ek hai, 

ek Musalman Hindu. 1 

1 Deen Darvish, an nineteenth century saint; quoted in 
Hindi~kc Musalman KaOt. 

i.e. The Hindu says, ‘I am superior* ; 
the Musalman says 1. 

Two halves of a grain of mung they are; 
which, then, is greated than the other? 

Don’t quarrel over who is superior; 

and who is not; 

The one is the devotee of Ram, the other of Rahman. 
Deen Darvish says, the two unite in one ocean; 
There is only one Lord of all: 

The Hindu and the Musalman are one. 



A. Persian (general histories and 


I. The Padshah-nama, or the court history of 
the reign of Shall Jahan in three parts, each cover¬ 
ing the history of a daur or decade. The first two 
parts were compiled by Abdul Hamid Lahori and the 
last by Abdul Hamid’s pupil Muhammad Waris. 
Abdul Hamid’s work is available in print (Bibliotheca 
Indica series). I have used a neatly written Ms of 
Waris belonging to Sir Jadunath Sarkar. 

Emperor Shah Jahan was ambitious of having a 
grand history of his reign compiled on the lines and 
written in the style of Abul Fazl’s Akbarnama. 
Sadullah Khan recommended Abdul Hamid as the 
only man in that age capable of performing such a 
task, because he enjoyed among his contemporaries 
great reputation as a successful imitator of Abul 
Fazl’s inimitable Persian prose style. Old Alxjul 
Hamid, then living in obscure retirement in the city 
of Patna 1 was invited to Court in the second decade 
of Shah Jahan’s reign and entrusted with the work. 
He lived only to finish the history of the first twenty 
years of the reign. 

1 Abdul Hamid on himself and his work. Pad. la.. 10-13, 



Muhammad Waris, who continued the work 
begun by his master according to the author of 
Maasir-i-Alamgiri, died on the ioth Rabi-ul-awwal, 
1091 A.H. 2 He was stabbed to death by a mad 
student whom he kept with him. 

The Padshah-nama is the most detailed and in 
many respects the most authoritative history of 
Shah Jahan’s reign. It was compiled from State 
papers, news sheets, reports of daily occurrences at 
Court and other official documents. It has an 
additional stamp of authority because of the fact that 
it was read out to the Emperor by his wazir Sadullah 
Khan, and amended by him at the Emperor’s sugges¬ 
tion. The concluding portion of the work was 
similarly revised, after vSadullah’s death, by Ala-ul- 
mulk Tuni (Fazil Khan), the Lord Steward of the 
Household. The Padshahnama, therefore, has also 
the merits and defects of an auto-biography, so far 
as the character and doings of the Emperor are con¬ 
cerned. Shah Jahan’s character is reflected in this 
Court history, as he liked to portray himself. 

The prevailing tone of the history is the 
Emperor’s orthodoxy as the ideal Muslim ruler of 
his age. Temple destruction, war against non- 
Muslims, gifts to Mecca, illumination on Id festivals, 
Milad assemblies attended by the Emperor are 
noticed without fail by the two royal historio¬ 
graphers ; whereas everything which might be inter- 

t Elliot, VII, 121. 



preted as a weakness or lapse from orthodoxy is 
passed over in silence ; e.g., his remission of the 
pilgrim tax on Hindus and restoration of the temple 
of Gkintaman. Even Waris or his royal patron did 
not think it desirable that the Padshah-nama should 
record the Emperor’s exemption in his sixtieth 
year from the fast of Ramzan by a fatwa of learned 
doctors and muftis in accordance with the ordinances 
of the Quran. 1 

Next comes Shah Jahan’s strong family affec¬ 
tions, particularly his love for Dara and Jahanara. 
The Padshahnama contains long notices of his build¬ 
ings in Agra and Delhi ; but curiously enough no 
mention of Painting which also reached the highest 
perfection during his reign. 

The Padshahnama records very minutely the 
political career of Dara Sluikoh which was however, 
uneventful. It lias been found unnecessary and 
even impossible to notice in detail in my book the 
promotions, presents, gifts of jewels and horses and 
royal visits with which Dara was honoured by 
his father. Nothing against Dara, such as his 
quarrel with Sadullah could certainly be expected to 
find a place in the Court history. The prince’s 
literary activities and religious views arc not at all 
noticed in it. It gives appendices containing lists of 
the saints, scholars and poets, who flourished during 
this reign ; but among these there is not a single 

t fnayat Khan’s Shah-Jahan nama, quoted in Elliot, VII, 97. 



Hindu name included in the list itself, though there 
are in the body of the text, Jagannath Pandit, and 
the Hindi poets, Haranath and Sundar Kavi Rai etc. 
are incidentally mentioned. Had the authors of the 
Pad shah-nama included like Abul Fazl names of 
Hindu scholars, ix>ets, saints also in his lists, more 
light would have been thrown on the character of 
Dara, who had intimate relations with them. 

2. Amal-i-Salih of Muhammad vSalih Kambu. 
(In process of publication in the Biblothcca Indica 

It is a history of the reign of Shah Jahan from 
his birth to his death in 1665 A.D. It has not much 
independent value for the first 30 years of Shah 
Jahan’s reign, which are treated with greater fulness 
and originality in the Padshah-nama. The book 
having been written during the reign of Aurangzib, 
the author could mention with impunity Shah 
Julian’s complicity in the murder of Khusru, and 
could not but give the version of the War of 
Succession from the view jx)int of the party hostile 
to Dara. It is a supplement to the Padshah-nama in 
respect of the 31st year of Shah Jahan’s reign, 
followed by a brief account of his end. 

4. Alamgir-nama (Bibliotheca Indica) by 
Muhammad Kazim, written in 16S8 contains the 
history of first ten years of Aurangzib’s reign. The 
Emperor prohibited the continuation of this official 
history when the author presented it to him in the 



thirty-second year of his reign. All subsequent 
historians, such as Saqi Mustaidd Khan, Shaikh 
Muhammad Baqa and Khafi Khan have extensively 
drawn upon it. The author of Alamgir-nama thus 
justifies the overthrow and murder of Dara : 

“Dara Shukoh in his later years did not confine 
himself to the frcethinking and heretical notions, 
which he had adopted under the name of iasawwitf 
(Sufism), but showed an inclination for the religion 
and institutions of the Hindus. He was constantly 
in the society of Brahmans, Jogis and Sanyasis .... 
he had given up the prayers, fasting, and other 
obligations imposed by the law. It became manifest 
that if Dara Shukoh obtained the throne and esta¬ 
blished his power, the foundations of the Faith would 
be in danger and the precepts of Islam would be 

changed for the rant of infidelity and Judaism. 

Consequently, for the defence of the Faith, and main¬ 
tenance of the Sharivat, added to the urgent consi¬ 
deration of state policy.he was put to death. 1 

5. Latif-ul-Akhbar : an anonymous account of 
the third siege of Qandahar, attributed to Badi 
uz-Zaman Rashid Khan. The author, as the internal 
evidence shows, was in the service of Mahabat Khan, 
the Younger, and accompanied that general to 
Qandahar with the army of Dara Shukoh. The 
author was indeed at that time not at all known to 

1 Pers. text, p. 34, 35; Elliot, VII, 197. For a bogus Dara 
appearing in Gujrat in 1663, see Alamgir-nama, p. 837. 



higher circle and no mention of his name (if he be 
Badiuz Zatnan) in the official account of the third 
siege of Qandahar is given by Waris. The author, 
like Badayuni of the days of Akbar, seems to have 
been till then a man disappointed in life, and the 
very opening lines of his wotk strikes a note of 
cynical contempt for successful courtiers and state 
officials. He writes : 

“I am not one of the special favourites aware 
of secrets nor a grandee of the inner circle. Neither 
am I a clerk in [Government] service, nor am 
employed on the diplomatic missions or in the news¬ 
writing department that I might tell a lie and live 
on falsehoods ; that I should conceal an occurrence 
from the public eye and get up proof for what did 
not happen only for the amusement of friends in 
Hindustan with their cars alert for news from 
Qandahar. I believe a lie should not be told and 
truth concealed from friends. When there is no 
motive, nor the favour of anyone in view, why 
should one go astray from truth and be not a fair¬ 
speaking man? By God, of the occurrences of this 
journey whatever I, who am so little known, have 
seen, none else have seen ; if anyone has seen, he 
has kept them secret for his own worldly gains, and 
if he has told, he told them in other way. The 
account of the age is (better) known to persons 
living aloof in a corner.” 

Latif-ul-Akhhar is a diary of events entered day 
by day (19a—227b) from the beginning to the last 



day of the third siege of Qandahar. It contains 
authentic military details as well as camp gossips, 
the latter none the less valuable for the study of 
popular beliefs and superstitions of Persians and 
Indians in the 17th century. I have reconstructed 
the story of Dara’s siege of Qandahar mainly from 
this work, which, though most damaging to Dara’s 
character both as a man and a soldier, appears to me 
more trustworthy in this respect than the court 
history of Shah Jahan. Rieu remarks: “It is no 
doubt the Tarikh-i-Qandahar which Khafi Khan 
quotes (Vol. I, p. 722), and ascribes to Rashid Khan, 
as Muhammad Badi. This Rashid Khan who 
was also called Badiuz-Zaman Mahabatkhani was 
appointed Divan-i-Khalisali in the 24th year of 
Aurangzib’s reign and died in the 41st year of the 
same reign’’ (Rieu i. 265). 

6. Tarikh-i-Shujai (or Shah Shujai, Ethe, i. 

It is a history of Prince Shah Shuja, written by 
Muhammad Masum (bin Hasan bin Salih) a protege 
and servant of Shuja for twenty-five years. Ethe 
remarks : “This work may be a part of the same 
author’s Fatuhat-i-Alamgiri, which was also com¬ 
pleted in 1070 A.H.’’ (Ethe, i. 340). So far as 
internal evidence goes the author wrote his work at 
Malda in Bengal, and mentions events of later date 
than 1070 A.H. (1660) ; e.g., Sulaiman’s surrender 
by the Srinagar Rajah (1661). Therefore it cannot 
be a part of any work completed in 1660. We very 



strongly suspect 1070 A.H. to be copyist's error for 
1080 A.H., which is very likely. 

The author, though a servant of Shuja, was yet 
an admirer of Aurangzib, and full of sympathy for 
Dara. But he seemed to have had no first hand 
knowledge of affairs, other than those of his master 
Shuja. Masum's work is a work of art full of 
dramatic and human touches which we miss in dry 
chronicles compiled from state papers. 

7. Muntakhabu-l-Labab : a well-known history, 
“commencing with the invasion of Babar, 
A.D. 15iq and concluding with the 14th year of the 
reign of Muhammad Shah" written by Muhammad 
Hashim, better known by his title Khafi Khan. 
(See Elliot VII, p. 207-210). Khafi Khan has 
certainly borrowed much from court chronicles like 
Padshahnama, as nobody can help it. But it is 
perhaps not quite correct to say that “so far as the 
reign of Shah Jahau is concerned he does not 
materially add to our knowledge" (Dr. Banarasi 
Prasad’s History of Shah Jahan). Khafi Khan was 
the first writer who utilised non-official sources like 
Tarikh-i-Qandahari, and herein lies the value of his 

8. Masir-ul-iwiara : well-known biographical 
dictionary of the nobles of the Mughal Empire by 
Shahnawaz Khan (Bibliotheca Indica). 

9. Works of Dara Shukoh : 

(i) Safinat-ul-awliya ; Newal Kishor Press. 



day of the third siege of Qandahar. It contains 
authentic military details as well as camp gossips, 
the latter none the less valuable for the study of 
popular beliefs and superstitions of Persians and 
Indians in the 17th century. I have reconstructed 
the story of Dara’s siege of Qandahar mainly from 
this work, which, though most damaging to Dara's 
character both as a man and a soldier, appears to me 
more trustworthy in this respect than the court 
history of Shah Jahan. Rieu remarks: “It is no 
doubt the Tarikh-i-Qandahar which Khafi Khan 
quotes (Vol. I, p. 722), and ascribes to Rashid Khan, 
as Muhammad Badi. This Rashid Khan who 
was also called Badiuz-Zaman Mahabatkhani was 
appointed Divan-i-Khalisah in the 24th year of 
Anrangzib’s reign and died in the 41st year of the 
same reign” (Rieu i. 265). 

6 . Tarikh-i-Shujai (or Shah Shujai, Ethe, i. 


It is a history of Prince Shah Shuja, written by 
Muhammad Masum (bin Hasan bin Salih) a protege 
and servant of Shuja for twenty-five years. Ethe 
remarks: “This work may be a part of the same 
author's Fatuhat-i-Alamgiri, which was also com¬ 
pleted in 1070 A.H.” (Ethe, i. 340). So far as 
internal evidence goes the author wrote his work at 
Malda in Bengal, and mentions events of later date 
than 1070 A.H. (1660) ; e.g., Sulaiman’s surrender 
by the Srinagar Rajah (1661). Therefore it cannot 
be a part of any work completed in 1660. We very 



strongly suspect 1070 A.H. to be copyists error for 
1080 A.H., which is very likely. 

The author, though a servant of Shuja, was yet 
an admirer of Aurangzib, and full of sympathy for 
Dara. But he seemed to have had no first hand 
knowledge of affairs, other than those of his master 
Shuja. Masum's work is a work of art full of 
dramatic and human touches which we miss in dry 
chronicles compiled from state papers. 

7. M nntakhabu-l-Labab : a well-known history, 
‘‘commencing with the invasion of Babar, 
A.D. 151Q and concluding with the 14th year of the 
reign of Muhammad Shall” written by Muhammad 
Hashim, better known by his title Khafi Khan. 
(See Elliot VII, p. 207-210). Khafi Khan has 
certainly borrowed much from court chronicles like 
Padshahfiatna, as nobody can help it. But it is 
perhaps not quite correct to say that “so far as the 
reign of Shah Jahan is concerned he does not 
materially add to our knowledge' 1 (Dr. Banarasi 
Prasad’s History of Shah Jahan). Khafi Khan was 
the first writer who utilised non-official sources like 
Tarikh-i-Qandahari, and herein lies the value of his 

8. Masir-ul-umara : well-known biographical 
dictionary of the nobles of the Mughal Empire by 
Shahnawaz Khan (Bibliotheca Indica). 

9. Works of Data Shukoh : 

(i) Safinat-ul-awliya ; Newal Kishor Press. 



(it) Sakinat-ul-awliya (Oriental Public Library 


(in) Risalah-i-Haqnuma (Newal Kishore Press). 

(u») Hasanat-ul-arifin (Mujtabai Press, Delhi). 

(v) Majrna’al Bahrain (Sarkar Ms.). 

(vi) Sirr-i-Akbar (Rieu, i. add 18404 ; also a 

Ms. belonging to Mr. Fida Ali Khan, 
Dacca University). 

10. Dabistan-ul-Muzahih : English translation 
by O’Shea and Trover ; Lithe, edition, Bombay. 

11. Mirat-ul-khyal : by Sher Khan Lodi (Umdat- 
ul-akhbar Press). This Tazkira or anthology of 
literary men, written in the early years of Aurangzib’s 
reign, is indispensable to students of history of this 

(b) Letters. 

1. Adab-i-Alamgiri, by Qabil Khan. It con¬ 
sists of three parts ; namely ft) letters written during 
the years 1649 to 1659 ; (it) history of the War of 
Succession, a supplement by Qabil Khan himself ; 
(in) letters written in 1678—80 by Shaikh Muhammad 
Sadiq of Ambala who “at the request of his son 
Muhammad Zaman, edited the whole work with the 
above three distinct parts in 1703 A.D. and gave it 
the title of Adab 4 -Alamgiri/ n The first part of the 
work is of great value in studying causes of 
estrangement between Aurangzib and Shah Jahan 
and Aurangzib’s bitterness against Dara. The 



second part, namely, the history of the War of 
Succession has got no independent value. 

2. Letters of Aurangzib collected and edited by 
Inayetullah Khan in his Kalimat-i-Tayyibat and 
Akham-i-Alamgiri, and Sayyid Ashrof Khan's 
Raqaim-i-Karim . 1 2 They contain stray references to 
Dara, and his children, Aurangzib’s gifts to Dara’s 
daughter Amal-un-nissa, wives of Sulaiman Shukoh, 
Aurangzib’s care for Dara’s tomb etc. 

3. Letters in the Jaipur Darbar Archives. 
The Jaipur Darbar Archives is a veritable mine 
of raw and first hand materials for the history of 
the Mughal Empire from the time of Shah Jahan 
to Muhammad Shah. It is pre-eminentlv a discovery 
of Sir Jadunath Sarkar who for the first time was 
allowed to inspect the Archives and make copies 
of some letters preserved therein. I have used 
transcripts of about 1000 letters in Sir Jadunath’s 
collection. There are some mistakes, in dates of 
receipt due perhaps to copyist’s hurry or ignorance. 
I have edited in Vol II of Dara Shukoh some of the 
most important letters written by Mirza Rajah to 
Shah Jahan and Dara, and farmans and nishans 
received by him from the Emperor and the Crown 
Prince. I have reconstructed the story of the 
campaign of Sulaiman Shukoh against Shuja during 

1 Sarkar’s Studies in Aurangzib s reign, p. 292. 

2 For biographies of editors and a critical estimate of the 
value of these letters, see Ibid,, p. 288, 289, 292-296, 



the War of Succession from thes^ first hand materials. 
These letters bring out incidentally some phases of 
Dara’s character, his belief in astrology and in his 
own ilhdm or divine inspiration. 

4. Haft-anjuman (Sarkar Ms.), a collection of 
letters by Rajah Jai Singh’s secretary Udairaj, who 
after the death of his master turned a Muslim. It 
is a valuable supplement to the collection of letters 
in the Jaipur state record (Studies in the reign of 
Aurangzib , p. 298). 

5. Faiyyaz-ul-qawanin (Sarkar Ms.)—This col¬ 
lection contains letters of Dara to Shah Dilruba, 
correspondence between Dara and Mul la Shah and 
Shaikh Muhibbullah, besides several letters bearing 
on the causes of the War of Succession. I have 
incorporated correspondence of Dara in vol. ii of 
this work. That these letters are not fictitious is 
proved by the fact that even in minute details some 
of them, e.g. f letters of Dara to Mulla Shah wonder¬ 
fully agree with references found in the Padshah- 
11am a of Waris. Letters of Dara to Muhibbullah 
are also preserved in a collection of letters in the 
private possession of Mr. Fida Ali Khan of Dacca 

6. Golconda letters (Salar Jang Ms.)—by 
Abdul Ali Tabrizi. I have printed correspondence 
between Dara and Abdulla Qutb Shah in vol. ii of 
Dara Shukoh. 

7. Durrul-Manshur or Sahaif-ush-Sh<wMf —com¬ 
piled by Muhammad Askari Husain Bilgrami in 



1171 A.H. (1757)- I have used a Ms. belonging to 

Hakim Habibur Rahaman Sahib of Dacca. This 

copy was transcribed in 1827 A.D. 

B. English. 

Sir Jadunath Sarkar— 

(t) History of Aurangzib. 

(ii) Studies in the reign of Aurangzib. 

Constable—Bernier’s Voyage to the East Indies. 

W. Irvine—Storia do Mogor. 

Ball—Tavernier’s Travels in India. 

Hakluyt Society—Peter Mundy’s Travels. 

Gaekwad’s Oriental Series—No. XVII, Kavindra- 
chava List. 

I>r. Banarasi Prasad—History of Shah Jahan of Dilhi 
(Indian Press, Allahabad, 1932). 

Dr. Modi Memorial Volume—“The unpublished 
translation of the Upanishads by Prince Dara 
Shukoh” (pp. 622—638). Before the publica¬ 

tion of this article I printed about 50 pages of 
extracts of original Persian from Mr. Fida Ali 
Khan’s Ms. 

Srish Ch. Basu—The Compass of Truth or English 
translation of Dara’s Risalah-i-Haqnuma (Panini 
Office, Allahabad). 

Mahfuzul Haq—Majma’al Bahrain (A. S. B.). 

Dr. S. K. De—History of Sanskrit poetics. 

Farquhar, Jphn Nicol—Outlines of Religious Litera¬ 
ture of India. 



Percy Brown—Indian Painting under the Moghuls. 

V. A. Smith—History of Fine Art in India and 

C. French. 

Garcin de Tassy— Hisfoire de la Litterature Hindoui 
et Hindustani (Oriental Translation Fund). 

Huart (Cl.) et Massignon— Les Entreliens de Lahore, 
J. A. 1926, i. Very recently the Dacca Univer¬ 
sity has secured a copy Nadir-un-Nukat or 
Dialogue of Dara and Baba Lai. 

Ysuf Husain— IJ Inde Mystique an Moyen Age, 

D. Vernaculars. 

Lai Kavi— Chhatra-prakash , edited by Shyam Sundar 
Das. Lai Kavi was a court poet of Maharajah 
Chhtrasal Bund el a, son of Cham pat Rai whose 
career the poet describes in chapters 5 to 7. 
The poet’s account of Charnpat Rai’s valient 
services under Dara at Qandahar is inaccurate 
as it does not agree with that of an eye-witness 
namely, the author of Lataif. We do not know 
from any Persian sources why Charnpat Rai 
turned hostile to Dara on the outbreak of the 
War of Succession. Khafi Khan, an earlier 
authority, lends support to the poet’s contention 
that it was Charnpat Rai who showed the secret 
ford on the Chambal to Aurangzib’s army. Lai 



Kavi says that Champat Rai defiantly left Agra 
without leave, and raised the standard of 
rebellion before the outbreak of the War of 
Succession, because Dara deprived Champat 
Rai of his jagir of Kunch at instigation of 
Champat\s kinsman and enemy, Pahar Singh 
Bundela. This may be true, as Dara had the 
weakness of lending a willing ear to insinua¬ 
tions and baek-bitings. Lai Kavi’s sketch of 
the character of Aurangzib and Dara is graphic 
and fairly historical. 

Surajmal—the Vamsa-bhaskar, a stupendous Hindi 
epic, written under the patronage of Maharajah 
Ram Singh of Bundi (1821—1888) by Surajmal 
Mishan, the royal bard of Bundi. Though a 
nineteenth century work, no student of Rajput 
history or of contemporary Delhi affairs can 
afford to ignore it. The War of Succession 
is described by the poet in animated verse 
without sacrifice of truth (pp. 2661—2782). 

Kaviraj Shyamklasji— Virbinod, an unpublished 
work, having for its main theme the history of 
Mewar. This is a vast store-house of first-hand 
historical materials, secured from Udaipur 
Darbar Archives, to which none before or after 
Shymaldasji had full access. It contains transla¬ 
tions of several nishans of Dara and Aurangzib 
to Maharana Raj Singh, and some nishans of 
Dara to Rao Akhairaj II of Sirohi. 



M. M. Gaurishankar Ojha —Rajpuiana ka Itihas ; 
this work has superseded Tod's History of 
Rajasthan. It is a thoroughly reliable and 
comprehensive work, on the Ruling House of 
Udaipur. Dara's services to Maharana Raj 
Singh, and Maharana’s intrigue with Aurangzib 
are set forth in Ojha's chapter on Raj Singh 
(P- 343—50). 

Shyam Behari Misra— Misra-bandhu-binod, a com¬ 
prehensive and fairly accurate history of Hindi 
Literature in three volumes (chapters 20-21). 
Report on Hindi Mss. in Hindi pt. I. Dara in 
his Sar-samgraha says that he had employed a 
large number of men for making an anthology 
of Hindi poetry, and translating the same into 
Persian (p. 65). 

Sayyid Najib Ashraf Nadvi— Muqaddamah-i-Raquaat - 
i-Alarngiri ( Dar-ul-musannafin, Azamgarh). The 
author seems to be an apologist of Aurangzib. 
His views on Aurangzib, Dara and Shah Jahan 
are those of an average orthodox Muslim. 

E. Sanskrit. 

Works of Jagannath Pandit—i. Pranabharanam and 
Jagadabharanam (Kavya-mala series, i. 79). 
Jagannath, son of Perama, hailing from Tailanga 
country lived in Delhi under the patronage of 
Dara Shah (Catalogus Catalogorum ^ ; Notices 
of Sanskrit Mss. X). Slokas in Prankbhamnam 
and Jagadabharanam are almost identical, 



though the hero of the former is said to be 
Pran-narayan, king of Kamrup or Assam ; and 
of the latter, Prince Dara Shukoh. Why should. 
Jagannath publish a poem substituting the 
name Dara for Pran-narayan ? There was no 
king of Kamrup or Assam of the name Pran- 
narayan. Jagannatlfs contemporary was Pran- 
naravan, Rajah of Kuch Bihar, who made war 
against the Mughals. There is a notice of 
another work, Rajvarnan, which is different 
from the above-mentioned poems. I spent much 
time uselessly in a fruitless attempt to extract 
history from a patent panegyric, which is made 
to suit alike the Crown Prince of Hindustan and 
a rebellious chief of Kuch Bihar. 

1 Prannarayan ruled in Kuch Bihar from 1633 to 1666 A.D. 
During the War of Succession he made a bid for independence, 
defeated the Mughal faujdar of Kamrup and made an offensive 
and defensive alliance with Jayadhvaj Singh, King of Assam, 
against the Mughals. He proved a great source of trouble 
to Mir Jumla and Shaista Khan till his death in 1666. See 
History of Awangxib , iii, pp. 156, 166, 191, 192. 




Abadis —364 (n) 

Abbas, Shah /—28 
Abbas, Shah It- 33, 37, 61, 83, 

Abdal Beg —167, 168 
Abd Muhammad, Mull a— 348 
Abdul A\i, Maulvi—31\ (n) 
Abdul AH Tabrizi— 414 
Abdul Hamid (see also 
Padshanama)—29, 101, 102, 
386, 404 

Abdul Karim, Shaikh— 170, 
386 (n) 

Abdulla, Mirza-6 8, 78, 89, 90 
Abdulla Beg Najumsani {Askar 
Khan)- 43, 203 
Abdullah Mir Bakshi— 47 
/I bd utta g u t b Sha h— 187-93, 
367, 414 

Abdullah Sultanpuri, Mulla — 

Abdul Latif Sultanpuri, Mulla 
— 4 , 5 

/IbdttZ Maani—215 
Abdul Quadir Gilani {Shaikh 
Abdul Qadir)— 98, 104, 

105, 111 

Abdul If f a ha b—71 (n) 

Abdun Nabi, Shaikh— 391 
Abdttr Razzaq, Sayyid {IzZat 
Khan) —See Jzzat Khan. 

Abdur Razzaq Gilani (Sayyid 
izzat Khan)— 26 
Abdur Rashid Dailemi —5 
/I bdws Samad, Mulla —189 
Abhatchand —136, 367 
Absolute, Descent of the —106 
Abul Fazl —5, 137, 138 (n), 177, 
392, 404, 407* 

Abul Hasan, Maulvi —160 

Abul Qastm —conversation with 

Abu Nasr al-Sarraj —110 

Abu Said Fazlullah, (quoted) 
—114, 129 

Abu Said Kharraj, Shaikh — 

Adab-i-A lamgiri— 412 

A dil Shah II, Ali —See Ali 
Adil Shah 

A dil Shah, Muhammad —193 

Advaita Vedantism, of Dara— 

Afghanisthan —promised to 

—Dara’s plan about—302 

Afghans, the— Dara in the 
country of—3, 91, 93 
—attitude of, to Dara—91 
—worsted by Jai Singh—93 
—in the army of Dara—310 
—hostile reception to—315 

Afza, Daulat— See Daulat Afza 

AfZal, Qazi—6 4, 90 

Agra-3, 4, 10, 12, 17, 27, 94, 
101, 136, 165, 171, 203 (n), 
205, 207, 216, 223, 241, 242, 
244, 247, 258, 260-262, 272, 
331, 417 

—Shah Jahan crowned at—3 
—IIur-uii-Nisa bom at—10 
—reported miracles at—101 
—centre of Jessuit activity— 

—Shuja and Aurangzeb at 
—165, 216 

—elephant fight at—205 
—Dara’s mansion at—207 



—after Samugarh—260 
—fall of—262 

—daughters of Dara at—331 
Ahadis, the —40, 60, 80, 81, 
82 (n), 319 
—valour of—82 (n) 

Ahmadabad— 219, 221, 275, 277, 
280 (n), 294, 296 
—postal connection at—219 
—Dara’s march on and occu¬ 
pation of—275, 277, 

280 (n) 

Ahmad Bukhari , Sayyid—277, 

Ajmir —1, 10, 104, 168, 169, 

184, 277-279, 282, 286, 294 
—Dara born at—1, 10 
—shrine of Chishti at—104, 

—Dara’s flight from—294 

Akbar— 4, 7, 28, 104, 105, 137, 
177, 259, 336, 357, 379, 380, 
383, 384 (u), 387-402, 409 
—mausoleum of—4 
—devotion of, to Chishti— 

—Hindu Scriptures translat¬ 
ed for—137 
—last days of—177 
—Age of—259, 379, 380 
—Kabir’s influence on—336 
—cardinal doctrine of—357 
—abolition of tax on the 
Hindus by —384 (n) 
Akbar t Muhammad, Prince— 
See Muhammad 
Akhairaj II, Rao—4\7 
Ahhbarat —164 (n), 166 (n) 

A lam— 142 

A lamgimama —271 (n), 282 (n), 
314 (n), 326, 328 (n), 407- 

A lam-i-Hawwiyal —131 
A lam-i-jabrut —131 

A lam~Ulahu t —131, 142 
A lam-i-malaku t —131 
A lam-i-nasut —130 
Alberuni—\31, 145 
Al-Futuhatu *LMakkiya —110 
Ali Adil Shah II— 194, 196 
Ali Ahmad Khan Lodi— 358 
Ali Azad, Ghulam —214, see 
also Maasir-ul-Kiram 
A li gar h—21 

Ali Khan, Muhammad —See 
Ali Mar dan Khan—28 
Ali Tabar —330 
ALkamil— 122, 133 
A l Kindi-396 

Allahabad-22, 24, 149 (n), 

202 (n), 212, 230, 242, 262, 
273, 322, 324, 358, 359, 362 
! —centre of Hindu learning 


—remission of pilgrim tax 

A lla haba d i, S ha i k h M u hi bb- 
Vllah —See Mullibb-Ullah 
Aim a gist —382 (n) 
aV Rabb— 399 
al Sarraj —See Abu Nasr 
Amal-i-Salih —2 (ii), 3 (u), 196, 

A tna l~v n- n i sa —18, 19, 413 
Amantalab , the—59, 65 (n) 
Amar Singh Rathor —163, 164, 

Amar Singh, Maharana —167 
Ambala— 322, 412 
Amber —168 
Amina Gujrati —276 
A nahatdhwani —108 

Anecdotes of Aurangzib— 
178 (n), 181 (n) 

See also A kham4-A lamgtri 

Anirudh Gaur, Rajah —237 
Aniyya —126 
A nna-Sagar—293 
Anurudh Singh Hada —331 (n) 



Aqil Khan Razi —196 
Aqil, Muhammad— 80, 81, 

88 (n) 

Arabkism in Islam—393 
Arabi Horse —152 (n) 

A rba —152 (n) 

Archives, Jaipur —73 (n), 413 
Archives, Udaipur —417 
A rtfs—H)0, 398 
A rj'un—\10 
Arksa— 348 

Army, Mughal —86, 87 
A rmy s up pH es —37 
Artillery— 37, 38 
A saf Khan —4 
Asanas- -337 
A seen si on —395 

Ascetic practices, Dara on— 

Ashraf Khan, Sayyid —413 
A s Inva —152 (») 

A shari Husain Uilgrami, 
Muhammad —414 

Askar Khan—Sac Abdulla beg 
Asp-i-A rabi~~~A52 (n) 

Assam —419 

Astrology , Hindu, Greek— 

382 (n) 

A tauUah, Mirak— 80, 81 
Atharva Veda —137, 138 
Attack- 3 

/Duiuma.' Hall—14, 180, 328 
Aurangabad —164 (n), 213, 219 

11, 15, 16, 18, 
19, 21, 23, 25, 33-35, 61, 
66, 71 (n), 87, 162, 165, 

168, 172, 177, 178, 186-197, 
199, 200, 202, 204-216, 216- 
222, 225, 226, 240, 243-59, 
261, 262, 263, 265, 266- 
271, 273, 274, 275-295, 

296 (n), 300, 308-310, 313, 
314, 316, 3t9, 320, 322-331, 
357-360, 366-369, 372-379, 

381-383, 385, 397, 398, 407, 
410, 411, 412, 416, 417, 418 

—as hostage—3 
—love adventures of,—15, 


—his failures at Qandahar— 
33, 34 

—pact with Shuja by—165 
—Dara’s contempt at—177 
—story about Dara, by—178 
—in the Deccan—186-197 
—Relation with Dara—204- 

—Coalition against Dara— 

—victory at Dharmat—240, 

—war of succession—275- 

—treatment of captive Dara 

—plan of Dara’s murder, 
by—313, 314, 316 
—Dara’s head treated by— 
319, 320 

—t reatment of Dara’s 
family, In—322-328 
—intrigue against Prithvi 

—contrast with Dara—372- 

—inherited ch aract er isti cs 

and early life—382, 383 
—devsecration of temple— 

—charge against Dara, by— 
397, 398 

Azam, Muhammad —19, 331, 

358 (n) 


Baba Lai— 332, 333, 336-347, 

—miracles of—333 
—Dialogue of—336-347 
Babar —20, 411 



Badakhshan— 30, 348 
Badakhshi, Mulla Shah —See 
Mullah Shah 

Badan Singh Bhadauriya —81 
Badayuni— 138, 395, 409 
Badi, Muhammad—4 \0 
Badin— 300 

Badiuzzaman Mahabatkhani 
—See Rashid Khan 
Badiuzzaman Rashid Khan — 
See Rashid Khan 
Baghdad —31 
Bahadur chand —184 
Bahadur Khan (Baqi Beg)— 
24, 26 (See also Baqi Beg) 
Bahadur Khan (Izzat Khan) 

(See also Izzat Khan) 

Bahadur Khan (Aurangzib’s 
General)—252, 266, 268, 

268, 294, 307, 308, 309, 311, 

Bahadurpur— 233-238, 244, 295 
—battle of—233-238 

Bahadur, Rusiatn Khan 
See Rustam Khan 
Bahara Mai —179, 180 
Bahauddin, Khawajah —329 
Bahir Khan, Sayyid —250 
Bahrain, Majmaal— 412, 415 
Bai, Hira—See Hira 
Bat , Munawwar —See Muuaw- 

Baji —152 (n) 

Bakhsh, Murad —See Murad 
Baksh, Urnmed —See Urnmed 
Bakhtyar Khan —See Malik 

Baksariya —81 

Balkh— 23, 29, 30, 164 (n), 362 
Baloch—208, 301 
Balochpur —244 
Baqar Khan Najum Sani —96, 
182 (n) 

Baqa , Shaikh Muhammad — 

Baqi Beg—22, 24, 26, 322, 324 
—created Bahadur Khan— 

Baqi Khan— 47, 51 
Bargaon —294 

Bar ha, Sayvids of—200, 248, 

Barha, Sayyid Hashim 
(See Hashim) 

Barha, Sayyid Mahmud 
(See Mahmud) 

Barqandaz Khan (Jafar)—95, 
202, 245, 249, 251 
Basant —272, 300, 309 
Basawar —282 
Bednur— 170 
Beg, Abdal —See Abdal 
Beg, A bdulla —See Abdulla 
Beg, Baqi— See Baqi 
Beg, Daulat—Set Daulat 
Beg, Jahangir— See Jahangir 
Beg, Jan—Set Jan 
Beg, ]ani—See Jani 
Beg, Nazar —See Nazar 
Beg, Nazar Quli—See. Nazar 

Benares —22, 149, 150, 212, 

228, 232, 233, 235, 255 (n), 
384 (n) 

~ Dara at—22, 149, 150 
—remission of pilgrim tax 

—Sulaiman's march to—228, 
232, 233, 235 
Bengal— 25, 226, 271, 410 
Bernier —200(n) 223(n) 224(n), 
227 (n), 238 (n/, 239 (n), 

285 (n), 291, 292, 293, 295- 
298, 311, 312, 316, 328 (n), 
372, 396-398, 415 
—on Dara—200 (n), 223 (n), 
224 (n), 372, 373 
—on Dara’s religion—396- 

—in the camp of Dara—297, 



—on prisoner Dara —311, 312 

—on Sliuja—227 (n) 

—on Jai Singh—238, 239, 


—on Shah Nawaz—291-293 
—on Malik Jiwan’s death— 

Bhadauriya, Badan Singh — 
— See Badan Singh 
Bhagavad Gita translated— 8, 
138, 160 

Bhagawandin, Lala —255 (n) 

Bhakkar —270, 272, 273, 300, 
302, 309 
Bhahta- 389 

Bhat, Indar—Sce Itular 
Bhatta, Madhusudhan — 

See Madhusudan 
Bhatta , Sanhar—Ste Sankar 

Bhawanidas, the astrologer— 

Bhawanidas, the officer—323 

Bhera - 96 

Bhuj —299 


Bhushan— 255 (n) 

Bias -265 (n), 266, 268, 269 
Bi chit tar Khan, Ibrahim — 
vSee Ibrahim 
Bidar— 195 

Bifiar—ll, 25, 214, 215, 227, 
228, 229, 241, 246, 267, 374 
Bijapur- 9, 186, 187, 193-197, 
263, 276 

—designs on—193, 194 
—war stopped—195, 196 
—Darn’s services to—195, 
196, 276 

Bilgrami, Askari Husain — 

See Askari Husain 
Birj {Brindaban)— 342 
Bithaldas Gaur—M0 
Bithli- 286, 287 
Bodleian Library—1 39, 349 (n), 
358 (n) 

Bolan— 303, 307 
Brahman, Chandrabhan 
See Chandrabhan 
Brahmans, Kashmiri —55 (n) 
Brahmanical scriptures —8 
B ri hadaranyaka — 150 (n), 152 (n) 
Brindaban —342, 385 (n) 

Brown, Percy —415 
Bundela, coutigents—244 
Bundela, Champat Rai 
—See Champat Rai 
Bundela, Chhatrasal 
—See Chhatrasal 
Bundela, Devi Singh 
—See Devi Singh 
Bundela, Pahar Singh 
—See Pahar Singh 
Bundi —255, 417 
Burhanpur—9 , 10, 11, 98 
BusL- 28, 48, 58-61, 65 (n), 

72 (n), 83, 92 
—capture of Bust, 58-61 
—fort dismantled, 92 
Buxar— 81 


Caliph Mamun 
—See Mamun 
Catalogus Catalogorum —419 
Chakras —108 
Chambal- 246, 247, 416 
Champat Rai Bundela— 47, 51, 
65 (n), 81, 97, 182, 416, 

Chandi- 301, 323 
Chandrabhan Brahman —77(n), 
169, 170, 202, 334, 382 (n) 
Charshina—6 0 
Chaturbhuj Chauhan —185 
Chauhan, Chaturbhuj 
—See Chatnrblinj 
Chauhan, Rao Ramchand 
—See Ramchand 
Chauhan, Udaikaran 



Chauhan, Vallabh — 

See Vallabh 

CheheDdokhtaran —76, 77 

CheheUZina— 46, 47, 57, 61-66 
—attack oil, 61-66 
Chetan Swami, miracle of— 

Chhabila —214 
Chhandogya —150 (n) 

C h hat rapra kas h— 416 

Chhatrasal Bundcla, Maha¬ 
rajah —416 
Chhurika —150 (n) 

Chintatnan —213, 384 , 385 , 406 
—desecration of—213, 385 
—restoration of—384, 385 

Chishti—Khwajah Mui nuddin 
—See Muinuddin 
Chi tor —167, 168, 169, 171 
Christ —155 

Christian Seriptures—S 
Chunar — 22, 233 

Compass oj Truth—\29 (n), 
141, 415 

(See also Risala-i- 


Constable— 285, 373(n), 397(n) 
—(See also Bernier) 

Constantinople —31 

Crown Prince [see also under 
Dara]—6, 9, 12, 27, 30, 

31, 32, 35, 41, 42, 43, 47, 
48, 53, 63, 64, 66, 67, 69, 
74,75, 76, 88, 89, 92, 93, 
94, 95, 101, 104, 107, 110, 
121, 140, 143, 144, 145, 168, 
171, 173, 174, 175, 177, 178 
-182, 185, 189, 195, 196, 

201, 229, 231, 234, 237, 246, 
247, 250, 260, 261, 276, 278, 
383, 413, 419 

Cutch-240, 274, 275, 295, 296, 

— Rao of— 274, 299 


—55 (n), 99 (n), 109 (n). 

136, 139 (n), 349 (n), 364, 
365, 366, 412 

Dacca— 5 (n), 412, 414, 415, 416 
I)adar -303, 304, 308 
Daghistani, Valih—366, 370 

Dailetni , A bdur Rashid 
—See Abdur Rashid 
/ >a iIw a ra (Da irwara) —295 
l )a i mta ra (Dai 1 wara) —295 
Dajjals— 155 
Damdamah —68, 77 
Dancing girls —in Persian 

Danishmand Khan —224, 293, 

—royal bounty of—4 
—tutor of—4, 5 
—studies of—5, 8 
—as a pupil—5 
—autographs of—5 
—lack of experience - 7 
—betrothal of—9-10 
—marriage of—12-15 
•-conjugal life of—15-16 
—children of—16-18, 98 
- illness of—17 
—rank and offices of—20-44 
—promotion of—21-22 
—viceroyalties of— 22-26 
—Qandahar expeditions of 

—services and emoluments 
of—26, 27 

—fauzdarship of Kaul—27 
—march to Kabul—30 
—first victory of—39 
—magic and miracles with 

—capture of Bust and 

—attack upon Chehelzina— 



—indignation at Rajrup—64 
—reward of Rajrup—65 
—council of war—71-77 
—and Nejabat—79 
—consolation of Jafar—83 
—appeal to Qilich Khan— 
84 , 85 

—failure of—86-90 

--favourites and dissension 
amongst officers—89, 95, 

—at Pi shin—93 
—reception of—94 
—spiritual life of—98-133, 
147, 154, 155, 160, 161 
—Quadiriva order and Dara 

—dreams of—100, 159 
—superstition of—101 
—compilations by—102 
—command of Persian ex- 

pedition - 














i 50, 






- -doctrines of—106-110 

—Prophet and Dara—107, 


—on ascetic practices—110- 

—on Unitarianism—114-122 

—promise of Divine know¬ 

—'Search for illumination— 

—Dara and Dilruba—117- 
119, 360, 361, 414 

—theosophy of—122-129 

—attitude towards common 

—Spiritual progress of—130- 

—literarv achievements of 

—Dara aipl Islam—135, 200 

—Dara and Hindu Philoso¬ 
phy—138, 139 

—works of—140-161, 411, 

412, 415 

—humility of—141 

—neo-platonism of—142 
—Islam and Hinduism—143, 
144, 145, 149 

—translation of Upanishads 
by—147-161 415 
—a student of Comp. 

—minor works of—154-161 

—letters to Mirza Raja—164, 
168, 172 

—Raj Singh and Dara—167- 

—royal honour—173-175 
—letter to Mulla Shah—174, 

—Dara and Court politics— 

—Dara and Prithviehand— 

—betrayed bv—183(n) 

—intercessions bv—189-91, 


—partiality by Shah Jahan 

—Dara and Aurangzib—204- 

—coalition of brothers 

against - 216-222 
—propaga 11 da aga i nst—223 

—at Samugarh— 245-259 
—flight from Samugarh— 

—Prospect of, in Lahore— 

—flight of—271-286, 294-301 
—battle of Deorai—286-293 
—adventures of—301-303 
—death of Nadira—303-305 
—made captive—305-312 
—murder of—312-321, 408 
—fate of children—330-331 



—Dara and Baba Dal—332- 

—Mul la Shah and Dara— 

—Muhibhullah and Dara— 

—Muhsin Fani and Dara— 

—Sarmad and Dara—365- 

—contrasted with Aurang- 

—contrasted with Shujah— 

—contrasted with Akbar - 

—political career of-406 
—bogus Dara—408 (n) 

—Masum on—411 
—in letters of Aurangzib-- 

—Dialogue of—415 
—cause of hostility of 
Champat—416, 417 
—JagannaUi on—418, 419 
Darbar, Jaipur 
—See Jaipur 
Darbar, Udaipur 
—See Udaipur 
Daud t Hakim— 314 

Daud Khan (Shaikh Daud) — 
203 (h) 250, 254, 257, 264,j 

Daud , Shaikh 

—See Daud Khan 
Daulatabad— 45, 71 
Daulat Afza — U 
Daulat Beg Hazara—60 

Datiphiny (of Babar’s house) 

Dawar, Zamln (See Zamin) 
Dawson— 316(n) 

Dead bodies , treatment by the 

Deccan , the—2 t 3, 9, 25, 162, 
168, 186-197, 213, 218, 277, 
278 , 281 

Deccani Sadhus —55 
Dccn Darvish —403 (n) 
Dehradun (Dun)—164, 185 

Delhi —1 

17, 26, 27, 




183, 185, 




261, 262, 




315, 319, 322, 




367, 369, 406, 418 

Dclhi-Shahjahanabad - - 94, 309 
Dclil Khan - -See Dilir Khan 
Deo ran - 265, 286-293 
Deos— 52, 57, 58 
Dcra Gazi Khan —29 
Dcra Ismail Khan-29 
Descent of the Absolute 
— See Absolute 

Devi Singh Bundcla -64, 65, 81 
Dharmat -240, 243-244, 281 
/) hoi pur 246, 247 
Dialogue - -337-347, 416 
Dilir Khan Ruhela-233 , 236, 
238 (n), 242, 289, 290, 292, 

Dilruba, Shah —117, 118, 119, 
132, 157, 360, 361, 414 
Diwa n-i-M u h s i n Fa tii —362 
Dohad —11 
Doki —43, 92, 93 
Do-rahah —217 
Dreams-- 36, 92, 100 
Dubinchand 282 
Dumraon 234 
Dttngarpu r— 282 
Du nichand 

—See Dubinchand 
Durrul-Manshur (Sahaif-ush- 
Dwaraka— 332, 333 
Dyanpur —333 


Egypt —156 

Elliot —316(n), 405 (n), 406(n),. 
408(n), 411 

European artilliry—dS , 265 , 
272 (See also t Feringees) 



European gunners— 38 
European marksmen -257 
Expedition, Persian—28-31 

See also Qandahar expedi¬ 

Expedition, Qandahar— 25, 28- 


Faith —408 

Faivvaz-ul-qawanin —360, 414 
Faizi .-392 

Fakhir Khan - 70 (n), 96, 

182 (n), 183 
Fani, Shaikh Muhsin 
—See Mnl is in 
Far ah - 32, 59, 60 
Farangistan - 366 
Farid, Shaikh — 182, 183 
Fath Muhammad Kalal — 50 
Fathpnr Sikri 382 (n) 
FatuhaUi -.4 1aingiri -410 
Fativa, of the divines- 398 
Fazl, Abut-See Ahul Pa/,1 
Fazlutlah, Abu Said—See Abu 

Fazlutlah, Shaikh Muhammad 

Fazil Khan —237, 405 
Fazil, Mulla- 41 (ni, 47 
Feringecs —39, 40, 67 (See 

also European Artillery) 
Fidai Khan— 323 
Fidai K Invajah— 173 
Firdausi— 6 
Firuz Jang, Rustam 

—See Rustam Khan 

Firuz Mewati—2S1, 291, 294, 

Free Will— 344, 345 


Gabrtel—358, 360 
Gandhi, Mahqtma— 336 

Ganges-221, 233, 240, 322 


Garcin de Tassy —333 (n), 

334 (n), 416 
Garh Shan kar— 269 
Garble al —183 

Gates of Qandahar— 46, 47, 

48, 65 

Gauharara— 9, 11, 219, 329 

Gaiir, Anirudh 
—See Anirudh 
Gawr, Bithaldas 
—See llithaldas 

Gharibdas —169 

Ghazni —30 (n), 31, 32, 93 

Ghulani Ali Azad — See Ali 

Gilani, Abdul Qadir (See 
Abdul Qadir) 

Gilani, Abdur Razzak 
—See Abdur Razzak 
Gilani, Shaida —382 (n) 

Gir, lndra —52, 53 
Girish k —58-61 
Gita, Bhagavad 

—See Bhagavadgita 
Gokla (hill]-286-289 
Goklat Vjjaniya —234, 235 
Golconda 186-93, 263, 276, 
278, 367 

Golconda letters —414 
Go pis —342 
Gopichandan —332 
Gospels— 136, 148 
Goswatni, Vi that Rai 
—See Vitlial Rai 

G ova rd h annath —385 
Govindwal —269 
Greater Rann — See Rann 
Greek Astrology , Astronomy 
—See Astrology, Astro¬ 
il omv 

Gujrat —24, 25, 213, 275, 285* 
291, 294, 295, 296, 408 (n> 
Gujrati, Amina—See Amina 



Gujrati, Shaik Wajjuddin 
—See Wajjuddin 
Shahi —2 

Gut Muhammad Khan —299, 
301, 306, 307 
Gulrukh Banti —165, 217 
Gulzar-i-hal— 139 
Gurus —55 

Guruva gurina —55 (n) 
Gurzbardar —91 
Gurzi , Mirza Muhammad 
Raushan —See Raushan 
Gurzi, Rustam Khan 

-See Rustam Khan 
Gwalior— 313, 328, 330 
Gwaliori, Rajah Man 
—See Man 


Habibur Rahaman Sahib, 
Hakim—-5 (n), 415 

Had a, Ann ru d h Si ng h —See 
Anurudh Singh. 

Hada, Mukund Singh —See 
Mukund Singh. 

Hada, Satarsal—See Satarsal. 
Ha ft-a nj u ma n —414 
Haibat— 319 
Haidarabad —188 
Haidar, Shah —214 (n) 

Haji, a magician—54-58 

Haji, Sher —See Sher Haji 
Hakim, Mirza-231 
Hakim Wazir Khan —See 

Hakluyt Society—‘ 415 
Hallaj- 121 

Hallaj, Mansur bin— 155 
Hama-az-u-st— 156 
Hama-u-st —156 
Hamid , Abdul —See Abdul 
Hamiduddin Khan —206 
Hanafi— 104. 

Hapur— 323 
Haqiqat —132, 356, 398 

Hara, cave of—108 
Hardawar — 184, 23Z 
Hasan— 410 

Hasan, Abnl-See Abul Hasan 
Hasanat-ul-A ripn — 154-158, 

353, 354 (11), 361 (11), 412 
Hashim Barha, Savyid —202 
(u), 322 

Hashim, Muhammad —See 
Khali Khan 
Hauzkhana -362 
Haya —152 (n) 

Hazara, Paulat Beg — 

See Daulat 
Hazara, Mihir Quit — 

See Mihir Quli 
Heetii — 10 

Heinrich Roth— 137 
Hclmand —59 
Hcnnaba ndi —13 
Hetui Buzeo, Father — 

See Buzeo 
| Herat— 32, 45 

j Hidden-book of the Quran— 

I 148, 163 

' Himalayas— 183, 263 
| Hindi hymns by Dara—8 
j Hindi-1te Musahnati Kavi — 

; 403 (ti) 

Hindi mss., Report on—418 

! Hindu— 8, 36, 86, 137, 138, 

! 144, 145, 149, 153, 255 (n), 

264 , 265, 279, 282, 332- 

347, 382 (n), 383, 384, 387, 

—Dara and the Hindus—8, 
36, 144, 145, 149, 153, 

264, 279, 332-347, 383, 
384, 387 

—Philosophv and Islam— 

—Badavuni on—138 
—Chief of the—265, 279, 282 
—astronomy and astrology 
—382 (li) 

—abolition of tax on—383, 



Hindustan —29, 87, 273, 305, , 

—coalition against Persia— 

—Persian emigrants to—87 
Hindustanis-- 40, 48, 50, 67, 
68, 82, 91, 248 
Hira Bai—\6 
Hissar —20, 270 

Histoire de la Litterature 
Hindoui ct Hindustani — 

Historical Records Commis¬ 
sion— 5 (n), 73 (n) 

Historv of A uran^zib (Sarkar) 
—191 (n), 194 (ii), 206 (n), 
207 (n), 221, 287 (n), 292, 
2%, 309 (n), 311 (n), 314 
(li), 318 (n), 331 (n), 358 
(n), 371 (n), 401 (n), 415, 
419 (n) 

History of Fine .4 rt —416 

Historv of Hindi Literature — 
139 (ni 

History of Rajasthan —418 
Historv of Sanskrit Poetries — 

History of Shahjahan —164 (n), 
411, 415 

Horses, species of—152 (n) 
Hot-Yogin - 336 
Huart- 335, 416 
Hutnaynn — 44, 273, 321 
Huqqah — 55 

Husain , Imam See Imam 
Husain, Muzaffar— 

See M uzaffar 

Husain , Yusuf -See Yusuf 

H meiyya —126 

Iiydc rabad Sind —366 


Ibn-ul-A rabi — 110 
Ibrahim liadakhshi , Khalifa — 

Ibrahim Bichittar Allan—196 

Ibrahim, Sayyid —287 
Idols, cult of— 338 
Ikhlas Khan —47 
Imam Husain —368 
Imam Raza— 92 
Inayct Khan —406 (n) 
Inayctullah Khan— 413 
Indar Bhat—\13 
Indar Kumari— 164 (n) 

Indian Painting under the 
Moghuls —416 

India Office Library— 138 (n), 

! Indous— 284 
India Oir— 52, 53 

■: Indus—32, 272, 274, 301, 308 
i In jib —148 
| Inkar— 155 
: hisan-i-Kamil —355 
| Iran, Iranis— 36, 90, 248 
j Iraq— 29, 31 
! /ra<ji horse —152 (n) 

! Irvine , M\—415 
Islam, Akbar on—391, 393 
i Islamabad —401 
i Islam, Oazi Muhammad —14, 

| 101 ~ 

: Ismail Hut— 208 
| IsrafU— 153 
Isioardas Nagar —291 
Ittihad —117 

Izzat Khan (Savyid Abdur 
Razzaii—49, 50 *(n), 69, 71, 
73, 76, 77, 78, 83, 88 (n), 
89, 93, 202, 203, 262, 264, 

Izzat Khan, Sayyid (Abdur 
Razzaq Gilani)—26 


Jabur —148 

fadhavdas, Rai (Jadu Das)— 

Jadu Das (Jadhavdas)—334 (n) 



Jadu Nath Sarkar, Sir — 

See Sarkar 

Jajar (Barqandaz Khan)—43, 
47, 50, 55, 56, 57, 63-66, 
68, 69, 71, 73, 76, 78, 79, 
83, 88 (n), 89, 90, 95, 96, 
166, 202, 203, 245, 249, 

Jafar Khan —363 
Jagada b h aranam —418 

Jagannath —380, 382 (n), 407, 

Jagatsingh, Maharana—Ufl 

Jahanara Be gam —10, 12, 17, 
19, 104, 185, 186, 188, 190, 
202, 207, 224, 320, 331, 

350-352, 383, 386, 406 

Jahangir— 1, 3, 14, 28, 70 (n), 
98, 167, 197, 225, 332, 384 
Jahangi rabad— 16 
Jahangir Beg —77, 78 
Jahan Lodi , Khan— 9 
Jahan, Said Khan— 32 
Jahanzeb Banu — 18, 19 
Jaipur records—169 (n), 228 (n), 
230 (n), 280 (nj, 413 
J ai salmi r —270 

Jai Singh , Mirza Raja— 32, 47, 
72, 73-75, 80, 83, 84, 89, 
93, 94, 95, 97, 163, 164, 
168, 172, 193, 205, 227-243, 
245, 269, 284, 285, 289, 

290, 292, 293-300, 307, 308, 
322, 325, 326, 328 (n), 413, 

Jam —275 
Jama Masjid —370 

Jammu —57, 264 
Jamrud-shahi —54 
Jamuna— 205 
Jan Beg, Mirzar~2 41 
Jani Be gam —18, 19, 331 
Jani Beg-2%1 
Jarrett—394 (n) 

Jaswant Singh, Rajah— 32, 97, 
227, 240, 241, 243, 244, 
263, 267, 277, 278, 279, 
J at i pur a —385 
Jaunpur —182 (n), 183 (n) 
Jayadhvaj Singh —419 
Jesseitigue —292 

(See Jai Singh) 

Jesuit—1 36 
Jew is h, scriptu res—8 
J ha la, Ragh odas — 169 
Jhala, Rai Singh —170 
fhavari, K. M .—386 (n) 
Jhvan, Malik — 

So* Maid; Jiwan 
Jivdtnia - 339, 340 
fodhpur —244 

Joga-Vashishta —139, 159, 160 

Jogindra— 346 

John Nicol, Farquhar— 

See Farquhar 
Juzarte, Pedro —See Pedro 
Jyoti —108 


K aba—395 

Kabir— 115(h), 336, 337 
K abirpa n t h i s ~ -336 
Kabul —16, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32, 
34, 35, 36, 201, 263 
Kachchi horse—152 
Kachchwah— 87, 242 
Kachchwah, Mirza Raja Jai 
Singh—See Jai Singh 
Kachchwah, Rarn Singh— 

See Ram Singh 
Kadjoue— -285 

Kalal, Path Muhammad — 

See Path Muhammad 
Kalam-Lllahi— 394 
Kaliani —195 
Kauma— 138 
Kalirna t-LA urang&ib — 18 
Kalimat-i-Tayy{bat —413 



Katnbu, Muhammad Salih — 
See Salih 
Kamil —132 

Kamran —43, 44 (n), 48 
Kamrup —419 
Kanaur— 54 
Kangra—21, 62 
Kanhoji— 299 
Kan ft —299 
Karl —299 

Karim, Abdul—See Abdul 
Karhn-un-nisa — 15 
Karnatak—\%7, 188 
Kashan— 32, 366, 371 (n) 
Kashf-ul-Mahjub—\ 14 (n) 

Kashi .340 

Kashmir -22, 27, 99, 103, 141, 
142 (n), 221, 310, 348, 350, 
357, 362, 363, 364, 401 
Kathiwad -275, 296, 332 
Kavi nd rac h a rya Sa raswati— 

139, 202 (n), 212, 384, 415 
Kavi raj Sh ya m dasji — 

See Shyaindasji 
Kazitn, Muhammad —407 
Kena (Upanishad) — 150 
Keshab Rai -397, 399, 400 

Khafi Khan .26 (n), 40 (n), 

41 (n), 99 (n), 178, 179 (n), 

316(n), 408, 410, 411, 


Khajwa - 




Khalil pu 


















Rai ~ 


Khan-i-K ha nan —85, 96 
Khan Jahan Lodi—9 
Kharagpur —240 
Kharraj , Shaikh Abu Said— 
See Abu Said 

Khawaspura— 309, 312 
Khesgi, Nazar Bahadur — 

See Nazar Bahadur 
Khlzirabafr- 312* 

K hud-parasti —161, 353 
Khurasan— 31, 114 
Khurram — 1 , 2 , 196 
Khusru, Diwan-i-Amir —119 
(n), 407 

Khwajah Khizir— 46, 47, 48 
Khwajah Main —203 (n) 
Khwajah Waisqaran —65 
Kipchaq —185 
Kiram —42 
Kiriwaz —60 

Kishwar Kusha —38 (n) 

K i ta b-a l-L it m a — 11 0 
Koli —296, 297, 299 
Kora {Korah)—2 42, 322 
Kotal Mchran —333 
Krishna Misra —160 
Kuch Bihar —419 
Kui Mi ran—333 (n) 

Ku Miyat —349 (n) 

Kum a on —71 (n), 184, 323 
Kunch —417 
Kunwar Ram Singh — 

See Ram Sin 54 h 


Lachmanprasad , Munshi — 

364 (n) 

Labor—3, 16, 17, 23, 24, 26, 
30, 32, 33, 35, 37, 38, 39, 
40, 42, 43, 52, 67, 91, 98, 
99, 101, 103, 140, 142 (n), 
202 (n), 208, 209, 262-271, 
306, 311, 322, 332, 333, 
334, 348, 357, 361 
Labcri , Abdul Hamid —404 
(See also Abdul Hamid 
Lakah—45, 46, 47, 48, 51, 53, 
65 (n), 80, 81 
Lain, Bhagwandin— 

See Bhagwandin 
Lai Kavi—4X6 
Lashkar Khan —80, 81 
Lataif (Lai aif-ul-Akh bar)—37, 
38 (n), 40 (n), 44 (n), 49 
(n), 50 (n), 54, 55, 58 (n), 



61, 64, 65 (n), 69, 70 (n), 
71 (n), 72 (n), 73 (n), 77, 
78, 79 (n), 82 (n), 83, 84 
(n), 85, 88 (n), 89 (n), 90 
(n), 92, 93 (n), 94 (n), 96, 
97, 408-410 
Law h-i-M a hfuz — 148 
Les Entretiens dc Lahore— 

Lesser Rann —See Rann 

Letters of Aurangtib—\18 (n), 

L'lnde Mystique au Moyen 
Age —156 (n), 158 (n), 416 
Lisan-Ullah —348 
Lives of Saints —140 
Lodi, AH Ahmad Khan — 

See Ali Ahmad 
Lodi, Khan Jahan — 

See Jahan 
Lodi, Sher Khan — 

See She: Khan 

Lohrasp, Mirza .(Mahabat 

Khan the younger)—70(n) 
Lord Steward of the House¬ 
Lutfullah —11 


Ma'ajmaal Baharain — 126 («), 
128 |n), 143-146, 412, 415 
Maani, Abdul —See Abdul 
Ma'akifat—348, 356 
Maasir-i-A lamgiri — 326, 328 (n), 
329, 330 (n), 405 
Maas i r-ul-K iram—2 14 

Maasir-ul-Umara —\4 (n), 2A 
(n), 26 |n) f 411 
Macaulay —211 
Macdonald — 350 (n) 

M ace-bearer —- 167 
Madhitsudhan Bhatta — 170 
Maghasis—30K 303 
Magic, Magicians— 42, 52-58 

Mahabat Khan (the Younger) 
—47, 49, 50 (n), 51, 70, 
71, 77, 78, 83, 89, 96, 195, 
196, 302, 408 

Mahabat Khanl , Badiuzzaman 
—See Rashid Khan 
Mahabharat— 137, 255 (n) 
Mahadcva —153 

, Mahakavirai —See Jagannath 
Mahapralaya —154 
M aha purukha—341 
M a hati na G an d h i — 

See Gandhi 
Mahdi- 380 

Mahdi Quli Khan —58, 59 
Ma he shp rasa d — 149, 150 
Mahfuzul Huq— 415 
M a h m ud Ba rha, Sayyi d —40 
(n), 47, 65 (n), 80 
Mahmudi cloth—181 
Mairta —278, 279, 291, 294 
Malda —271, 410 
Malik Jiwan —183, 243, 302, 

303, 305-315, 316 In), 319 
Malpica Estanilas —136 
Malwa—2 17, 243, 244, 332 
Mamun, Caliph— 388 
Maud a l gar It— 170 
Mandi—6 1 

Man Gwaliori, Raja— 63, 64 
Mansabdars— 20, 87, 386 ‘ 
Mansingh , Raja—2 31, 238 
Mansur —155, 157 
Manucci --15, 18, 70 (n), 73 (n), 
133, 136, 137, 139 (n), 249, 
265, 270, 271, 272, 320, 
328 (n), 372, 374 
Maqbul— 293, 306, 309 
Mardan t Ali Khan — 

See Ali Mardan 
Mashuri —46 
Massignon—3 35, 416" 

Master of Genii — 52 
Master of Ghosts— 58 (n) 
Masum , Muhammad — 267, 270, 
271, 302 (n), 318(n), 326* 
328 (n), 4*10, 411 



Match-locks —40, 81 
Mathura— 399, 401 
Maulana Shah —99 (n), 103, 

104, 113, 116 (See also 

Mullah Shah). 

Mecca -351, 364 (n), 395 
Medini Singh— 185, 326, 327, 
328 (n) 

Mewar —1, 10, 167, 168, 172, 
279, 417 

Mewati, Feruz —See Firuz 
Mian Meer —24, 98-100, 103, 

104, 105, 112, 113, 140, 156, 
306, 348, 358 

Mihir Quli Sultan Hat a ra —60 
Mihir Shukoh —17 
M t h raj - i -j i s) n a n i —394 
M inhaj-us-Salikin — 

See Abul Hasan 
Miracles —52-58 
Mir Adil— 214 
Mirak Ataullah — 

See Ataullah 

Mirat-ul-Khiyal —349 <n), 358, 

359, 360 '(d), 362, 363, 364, 
365, 366, 367, 382 (n), 412 
Mir Bakhshi —47 
Mir-Mtlsh— 47, 185 
Mir-i-Satnan —47 
Mir Jumla —187, 188, 191, 194, 

M i r M « ha w m a d Sai d — 190 
Mir, Shaikh— 252, 273, 274, 

289, 290 

Mirza Hakim —See Hakim 
Mirza Raja Jai Singh — 

See Jai Singh 
Mirza, Sayyid —See Sayyid 
Mirza Shuja — 

See Nejabat Khan 
Misra^bandhu-binode —139, 


Misra, Shyam Behari — 

See Shyam Behari 
MisH, Mir Sulaiman — 

See Sulaiman 
Mist, Primaeval— 154 

28 ’ ' 

Modi, Dr. —150,415 

Moonrise of Wisdom —161 

Moradabad —323 

Moses—136, 142 (n), 148, 156 

M uawwiya — 199 


Mubad —364 (n) 

Mughal Army —See Army/ 
Muhammad Adtl Shah 
—See Adil Shah 
Muhammad Akbar —329, 398^ 

Muhammad AU Khan— 26, 35„ 
202 (n) 

Muhammad Aqil—See Aqil. 
Muhammad Azam —19 
See Azam 

Muhammadr.Badi —See Baxif 
Muhammad \ Baqa, Shaikh — 
See Baqa 

Muhammad iSqra Shukoh — 
See Dara 

Muhammad Fallullah —98 
Muhammad Hashim 
See Hashim 
Muhammad Islam, Qazi 
See Qazi 

M uhammad Kazim — 

See Kazim 

Muhammad Masum — 

See Masum 

Muhammad Maula, Shaikh — 

Muhammad, Mulla —139 
Muhammad, Nazar — 

See Nazar 

Muhammad Quli —80 

Muhammad Raushan Gur)i — 
See Raushan 
Muhammad Sadiq — 

See Sadiq 

Muhammad Said Sarmad — 

See Sarmad 

Muhammad Salih Kambuh — 
See Salih 

Muhammad Shah —324 

Muhammad Shah, Emperet 
—366, 411, 413 



Muhammad Sharif Qalich — 
See Qalich Khan 
Muhammad, Sultan — 

See Sultan 

Muhammad Tughlak —183 
M u ham mad Zama n — 

See Zaman 

Muhibb-ullah A llahabadi, 
Shaikh— 23, 358-360 
Muhhtddin—214 (n) 

Muhsi n F ani, Sh a i k h —362- 

Mumuddin Chishti, Khwajah 
104, 168 

Mukarram Khan —182 
Mukhlispur —150 (n), 151 

Mukund Singh Hada—19 80, 

Mulhid— 211, 221 
.Mnlla Abd Muhammad — 

See Abd Muhammad 
Mulla Fazil - See Fazil 
Mnlla Mohan— 214, 215 
Mulla Salih —See Salih 
.Mulla Shah Radakhshi (See 
Maulana Shah)- 99, 103, 

104, 157, 174, 202 (n), 348- 
358, 361 (n), 389, 398, 414 
Mutt a fat Khan— 330 

Multan— 25, 32, 35, 41, 43, 91, 
93, 203 (n), 208, 209, 269, 
271, 273, 300, 302 (n) 
Mumtaz Mahal— 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 
12, 13, 14, 16, 166, 304 
Mumtaz Shukoh —]8 
Munawwar Bai —166 (n) 

M undy, Pc tcr —See Peter 
Mungir —229, 240, 295 
Munis-ul-arica— 104 
Munshi Lack man Prasad— 
See Lachman 
Muntakhabu4~Labab—4\ 1 
M uqaddama-i-Raquaat-i- 

Murad Bakhsh —11, 25 (n), 

164 (n), 199, 216-222, 240, 
243-245, 252, 254, 263, 275, 
329, 362 

Murad, Sultan of Turkey—29, 

Muraqqa —110 

Murida —104, 141, 361 (n) 

Musailama —364 (n) 

Must a fa K han — 

See Ibrahim, Savyid 
Mustaldd Khan, Saqi — 

See Saqi 
Mustapha —143 
Mutamaid Khan —202 (n) 
Mutaqqtd Khan —182 
Muzaffar Husain, Mirza —28 
Mysteries, introduction into 

Mysticism t stages of—117-130 


Nabi, Shaikh Abdun — 

See Abdun 
Nad —337 

Nadira Be gam — 15, 16, 24, 98, 
141, 142 (n), 261, 265, 268, 
288, 301, 302, 306, 307,330 
—children of—16-18 
Nadir Shah —45 
Nadi r-ul-Nukat (Dialogue)— 
334-347, 416 

Nadvi, Sayyid Najib Ashraf — 
158(h), 418 
Nagar, Iswardas — 

See Iswardas 
N agin a—323, 324 
Nagpur —5 (ri) 

Naltar Tatnburi (Nahar Khan) 
203 (n) 

Najtimsani, Abdullah Beg — 
See Abdullah Beg 
Najurnsani, Baqar Khan — 

See Baqar Khan 

Nak-kati Fani .71 (n), 183 

Nal-Daman —392 (n) 

Nand Das, Swami —139 
Naqib —55 

Narmada— 219,. 220, 243, 246 
Naulakha —334 (n) 



Nauzad —59 

Nawal Kishore press—106 (u), 
141, 411, 412 
Nawnagar —275 
Nawaz Khan, Shah — 

See Shah Nawaz 
Nazar Bahadur Kheshgi —49 
Nazar Beg {Nazar Quit) —309, 
310, 312, 316, 317 
Nazar Muhammad Khan— 29, 

Nazar Qnli —(See Nazar Beg) 
Nazi —363 

Natir, Shaikh i—101, 102 
Nejabat Khan—7\ t 72, 79, 80, 
96, 183, 184 

Nco-Platoni$m of Data —142 
Ncvill -149 (n) 

Nicholson—See Studies in 
Nisar— 4 

Nishapur— -31, 32 
Niytila— 334 

Nomenclature (Islamic) of 
Hindu gods—153 
Nur Jahan— 1, 2 
Nusrat Khan—88 (n) 


Oj ha, Gau risk an kar — 

See Gaurishaukar (also 
Rajputana ka Itihas) 
Oriental Public Library, Patna 
6, 349 (n), 412 ' 

Oriental Scries Gaekwad's — 
212, 382 (n), 384 («), 415 

O'Shea (Shea)—412 (See also 

Outlines of Religious Litera¬ 
ture of India —161, 415 
(See also Farquhar) 


Padshahnama — 2 (n), 3 (n), 4, 
10, 12, 14,. 16 (n), 17, 18, 
22, 30 (a), 33 (n), 99 (n), 

102 (n), 103 (n), 149 (n), 

175 (n), 206 (n), 383 (n), 

404-407, 411, 414 
Pahar Singh Bundela— 51, 

94 (n), 417 

Pak-nihad Banu Be gam —18, 

Palanpur —295 
Ranch Mahal —11 
Pandit , Jagannath — 

See Jagannath 
Panjmundrah —43 
ParamStma— 339, 340 
Parvez —9 

Pa than -250, 257, 290, 305 
Patna—6, 166, 233, 239, 374, 

Patron in Court—176 
Peacock throne—162 
Pedro Juzarte— 137 
Pentateuch —136 
Perama —418 

Pcrcv Brown —See Brown 
Persia— 29, 272, 273, 301, 302, 
305, 306, 307 

Persians— 25, 26, 28, 31, 32, 
35, 52, 53, 68, 77 
(vSee also ‘expedition’) 
Peter Mutniy— 415 
Peter , the Great —378 
Peter , the Hermit —36 
Pharaoh — 155 

Philosophy, Hindu—137, 138, 
139, 160 

Pir of I)ara—202 
Pish in— 43, 93, 94 
Plato—6, 142 (n) 

Prabhu —399 

Pra bod h -C handrodaya —139, 


Prd nabharanant —418 
Pranayam —108, 113, 395 
Pra n-narayan —419 
Pratap, Maharana — 1, 167 
Praying Mullas —42 
Priihvtchand, Rajah— 183-185, 
325, 326, 328 



Prithvi Singh , Raja— 323, 325, 

Prophet— 107, 108, 199, &51, 

358, 368, 395, 396 
—reverence of Dara for— 
107, 395, 396 

—Hindu practices of—108, 

—Gabriel of—358 
—physical ascent of—395 
Psalms— 136, 148 
Panjab— 20, 23, 27, 32, 262, 
263, 267, 323 
Pur —170 
Path —323 


Qabil Khan —412 
Qadiri—m, 106 
Qadiriya —98-114, 349 
Qalkh K han —287 
Qanauj —233 

Qandahar— 25, 


, 60, 


















Qasba Gokitl—386 (n) 

Qasim, Abul — 

Se Abul Qasim 

Qasim Khan —47, 68, 78, 185, 
243, 244 

Qazi Afzal —See Afzal 
Qazi Muhammad Islam —14, 

Qila«Kusha-38 (n), 66, 67 

Qilich Khan —31, 47, 51, 65 
(n), 70, 76, 84, 85, 89, 96 
Qiyamat-UKubra —153 
Qizilbashes —60, 70 
Quran— 5, 6, 121, 122, 145, 148, 
163, 214, 394, 396, 406 
Qutb. Abdullah — 

See Abdullah 

Qutb khan— 49, 50 (n), 88 (n) 
Qutbuddin Khan —182 (n) 
Quwwat~i-batini —358 


Rabindranath —112 (n), 336 
Radandaz Khan —327 
Raghodas Jhala— 169 
Rai Singh Jhala—[10 
Rajaur —3 

Rajmahal— 219, 227, 233 
Rajputana— 173, 255 (n), 263, 
267, 272, 278, 280, 284 
Rajputana-ka-Whas —170 (n), 
173 (n), 418 

Raj pu tana-Malwa Rai Iway — 

Rajputs— 248, 250, 256, 264, 
284, 290, 299 

Rajrup, Rajah-57, 62-66, 76, 
97, 264, 265, 288, 289, 290, 

Raj Singh, Maharana—\67~ 
173, 184, 200, 279-282, 417, 

Ramayana —137 

Ramchand Chauhan, Rao —169 
Ram Chandra (Rama)— 159, 
160, 379 

Rain Singh, Kunwar— 97 , 229, 
230, 250, 327 

Ram Singh, Maharajah —417 
Ram Singh Rathor t Rajah — 

Rana DU—15 
Rana Pratap —See Pratap 
Rana Sanga—2 82 
Rann (greater)— 300 
Rann (lesser)— 299 
Rao A k hair aj II— 417 
Rao of Cutch —274, 299, 300, 
(See also Cutch) 
Raqaim-i-Karim —413 

Rashid Khan, Badi-uz-zaman 
(Badiuzzaman Mahabat- 
khani)—408, 410 



Rathor —87, 97, 243, 255, 256 
Raushandrd —See Raushan Rai 
Raushan Gurji, Mirza Muham¬ 
mad— 59 

Raushan Rai, Begam —10, 219, 
313, 320 
Rawalpindi —3 
Raza, Imam-See Imam 
Razi, Aqil Khan —196 
RaZzaq , Sayyid Abdur— 203, 
272 also see Izzat Khan 

Riaz-ush-Shaura —366 
Ribani —366 

Ricu—M9 (n), 364 (n), 410, 


Risalak-i-Bismillah —349 (n) 
Risalah-i-Haqnumah —100, 105, 
106 (n), 107, 108, 109 (n), 
110, 111 (n), 112 (n), 113, 
120, 128, 131, 133 (n), 135, 
141-143, 395, 412, 415 

RisalahA-Shahiya —349 (n) 

Roe, Sir Thomas— 176 
Rohtas —3, 11, 22 
Roth , Heinrich—Sec Heinrich 
Rubai , 364 (n) 

Ruhela, Chief— 233, 236, 242, 

Rutni —6, 382 
Rupar —264, 266, 296 
Rup Singh Rathor, Rajah — 
170 256 

Ruqqat-i-A latngir —158 (n) 
Rustak— 348 
Rustam —42 

Rustam Khan Bahadur —26, 
32, 33, 43, 48, 58, 59, 60, 
72 (n), 74, 83, 85, 92, 

93 (n), 97, 246, 251, 252, 
253, 254 

Rustan Khan Gurji — 31 

Sachaq —12 
Sac hau — 139 
Sadhu— 52, 55 

Sadat Khan —60 
Sadi— 6 

I Sadiq, Muhammad —62, 412 
Sadiq Muhammad Khan —276 
Sadullah Khan— 27, 34, 35, 

168, 170, 171, 177, 186, 187, 
189, 214, 279, 281, 312, 383, 
384 (n), 404, 405, 406 
Safavis— 28, 87 

Safinat-ul-awliya —103, 111 (n), 
116 (n), 140, 156, 411 

Safshikan Khan —252, 273, 274 

Sahai f-ush-Sharaif —414 
Saharanpur —71 (n), 184, 322 
Sahasa —167 
Sa hwa-l-jam — 130 
Said Khan Bahadur— 32, 33 
Said Khan Jahan —32 
Said, Mir Muhammad —190 
Sakinat-ul-awliya —105 140, 

349 (n), 412 
Sakkar —272 

Salabat Khan, Sayyid —202(n) 
Salih —410 

Salih Kambu, Muhammad — 
196, 407, (see also Amal-i- 

Salih , Mulla —202 
Salim —177 
Salima Banu— 329 
Salimgarh— 327, 330 
Samad, Mulla Abdus —See 

Abdus Samad 
Samarqand —30 
Samr&t-Sidhanta —382 (n) 
Sanga, Rana— 282 
Samugarh —79, 241, 242, 243- 
259, 260, 265, 282, 303 
Sankara —152 
Sankar Bhatta— 172 
Sannyasi (Hindu)—52, 53 
Sanwaldas Rathor— 169 
Saraswati , Kavindracharya — 

See Kavindracharya 
Sarhind— 264, 333 
Sarkar, J. N.— 12 (n), 182 (n), 
191 (n), 194 (n), 206 (n) # 



207 (n), 221, 253 (n), 280 
(n), 292, 331 (n), 401 (n), 
404, 412, 413, 414, 415( see 
also History of Aurangzib) 

Sarmad —136, 157, 365-371, 

379, 389 

Sarvaindya-nidhan —212 (n) 
SarSamgraha —418 
Satara —213 

Satarsal Hada , Rao —94 (n), 
195, 196, 245, 246 , 250, 253, 
254, 256 
Satlej— 264, 266 
Satrasal-dashak —255 (n) 

Sau b hagya pra kas h — 184 
Sayyid Mirza —47 
Sehwan —274 
Shaft Khan— 312, 316 
Shah (of Persia)—36, 302 
Shah Abbas I —See Abbas 
Shah Abbas II —See Abbas 
Shahabuddin Suhrawardy— 

Shaham Quli .84 (n) 

Shah Dilruba —117, 118, 119, 
132, 157, 360-361, 414 
Shah Haidar —See Haidar 
Shah-i-Buland Iqbal —174, 355 

Shah Jahan—2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 
10-11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 27, 
28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 35, 
70 (n), 94, 98, 103 (n), 136, 
149 (n), 162, 165, 166, 167, 
168, 169, 171, 173, 175, 176, 
177, 178, 179, 180, 183, 

184, 186, 187, 188, 189, 191, 
192, 194-197, 199, 201-204, 
206, 207, 208, 213, 216, 217, 
218, 219, 222-224, 225, 226, 
227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 
237, 238, 239, 244, 245, 246, 
247, 258, 260, 261, 279, 281, 
299, 302 (n), 309, 320, 325, 
331, 350 (n), 362, 367, 379- 
387, 404-407, 410, 411, 412, 
413, 418 

—conspiracy of Nut Jahan 
—children of—11 
—at Dara’s illness—17 
—love for Dara’s children— 
17, 18 

—affection and partialitv for 
Dara—21, 27, 94, 95,' 173, 
175, 201-204, 216, 218, 

—reprimand to Dara—70(u), 
178, 179, 180 
—visit to Saints—98 
—court of—175, 176 
—Aurangzib and—186-197, 

213, 217 

—education of children— 

—illness of—222-224 
—on Shujah—226 
—last farewell of Dara—246- 

—presented with the head 
of Dara—320 

—contrasted with Dara—379- 

—painting in the reign of- 

Shahjahanabad~Delhi—94 , 309 
Shahjahan-nama —406 (n) 

S hahjaha tipur —242 
Shah NaiuaZ Khan— 275, 276, 
287-292, 411 
Shahrukh Mirza —184 
Shah Safi —29, 31 
Shah Shufai (See also Tarikh- 

Shah Tahmasp—See Tahmasj> 
Shaida —381, 382 (n) 

Shaida Gilani—382 (n) 

Shaikh Daud (Daud Khan )— 
203 (n), 250, 254, 257, 264, 

Shaikh Mir—Set Mir 
Shaikh Sufi— 159* 



Shaista Khan—22, 25 (n), 190, 
314, 323, 419 (n) 
Shakhs-i-Kul —118, 123 
Shams Khan —49, 50 (n), 

88 (n) 

Sharivat —348, 356, 357, 360, 
398, 408 
Shaiahat —335 

Sher Haji —65, 66, 68 , 69, 86 
Sher Khan —358 (n) 

Sher Khan Lodi— 412 
Shihab - ud-din, Mir— 62 
Shivaji —71 (n), 378 
Shuja —3, 10, 21, 25, 26, 165, 
197, 199, 205, 216-222, 225- 
243, 244, 262, 263, 267, 273, 
274, 277, 295, 324, 327, 410, 
411, 413 

Shuja, Mirza—1\ (n), 184 
Shutar-gardan—8 4 
Shy am B chari Misra —418 
Shya mdasji, Ka viraj —4 17 
Shyatusundar Das ( Syamsun - 
dar )-416 

Sidhantasara-Kaustubha — 

382 (u) 


Sindh —208, 221, 271, 296, 300 
Sipasis —364 (n) 

Siptr Shukoh—\ 8, 19, 251, 253, 
257, 268, 269, 274, 282, 287, 
291, 307, 308, 309, 313, 316, 
317, 318, 330 

Sirohi—211, 279, 280 (n), 295, 

Sirrd-akbar —22, 116 (n), 147* 

154, 412 (see also Sirr-ul- 

Sirr-ul-Asrar —354 also see 

Sisodias- 87, 244 
Si stan —32 

Siti-un-nisa K hanam —12 
Si wist an—29$ 

Smith V. A .—416 

Sobhag Singh —171 
Spirit (infusion into matter)— 

Srinagar —71 (n), 103 (n), 183, 
184, 323-329 

Srishchandra Vasu —106 (n), 

107 (n), 111 n), 415 
Stone-cutters —40, 67 
Storia-do-Mogor— 16 (n), 70 (n), 
73 (n), 139 (n), 265 (n), 320, 
372 (n), 415 

Studies in Aurangzib—i94 t 413 
(n), 414 (See also Sarkar) 
Studies in Islamic Mysticism 
—107 (n), 114 (n), 115 (n), 
125 (n), 126 (n), 130 (n) 

(See also Nicholson) 
Studies in Mughal India — 
—12 (n)—See also Sarkar 
Sudhakar —205 
Sudra— 379 

Sufi, Sufism— 23, 36, 98, 105, 
109, 113, 116-130, 132, 139 
(n), 154, 157, 333, 342 (n), 
358, 359, 365, 398, 408 
Sufi, Shaikh —159 
Suit rare a rdy, S h ah abu ddin — 

Sulaiman Misri, Mir —157 

Sulaiman Shukoh —17, 26, 35, 
94, 163-166, 201, 225-246, 

262, 263, 268, 322-331, 410, 

Sulh4-kul— 210, 357 

Sultan Muhammad —165, 188, 

202 (n), 217, 256, 327 
Sultan pur —17, 266, 268, 269 

I Sultanpuri, Abdullah — 
vSee Abdullah 

Sultanpuri , Mulla Abdul Latif 
—See Abdul Latif 
Sultan Singh— 171 
Su Itan-ul-A zkar —112 
Sundar Kavi Rai —407 
Surd Falaq —112 (n) 

Surd Ikhlas —112 (n) 

Surd Nds —112 (n) 



Surajgarh— 240, 241 
Surajmal Mishran — 255 (n), 


Surat— 276, 299 
Suratsundar— 205 
Swn'ya Baww Be gam— 11 


TaaMtn-i-Sab r— 368 
Tabar — See Ali Tabar 
T abrizi' Abdul Ali- 414 
Tafsir-i-Shah — 349 (n) 

Tahmasp, Shah — 28 
Tailanga — 418 
Takhallus— 364 (n) 

Taiwan— 264, 266 
Tamburi, Nahar — See Nahar 
Tanjih — 129 
Tanpa rwari—2 17 
T aqarrub Khan— 314 
T arbiyat Khan — 327 
Tartkh-i-Kashmiri — 358 (n) 

Tar/ 410, 411 

Tarlkh-i-Shujai—261, 304 (n), 
317 (n), 318, 326, 328 (n), 

(See also Shah Shujat and 

Tarja ma-i - foga - Fas his h ta— 139 , 
159, 160 

T asawwu f — 408 
Tashbih — 128, 129 
Taswwid — 358, 360 
Tauhid—S, 114-129, 133, 134, 
148, 155, 354 
Taurit — 148, 366 
Tavernier — 308 (ti), 328 (n), 


Tawakkul Beg— 349, 350 

TazktraA-Sha’ra-i-maa’ri fan — 
349 (n) 

T elingana — 2 
ThaUChotiali — 41 
Thatta— 202, 274, 366, 367 

Thomas Roe, Sir —176 
Tikayat, Vithal Roi— 

See Vithal Rai 
Timur— 5, 134, 198 
Timuri , Timurides —28, 29, 351 
Top-i-hawai —38 
Transoxiana —29 
Tughlaq, Muhammad 
—See Muhammad 

Tm nt, .4 /a -«bin u l k —405 
Turani —248 
Turani, Qilich Khan 
—See Qilich Khan 
Turkey —29 
Turki (horse)—152 (n) 

Turks— 31 



Udaikaran Chauhan —172 
Udaipur—\70 t 173, 280 (n), 281, 
296, 417, 418 
Ujfain -243 

{// janiya, (roklat—Soe Goklat 
Ulema— 52, 314 
(7 ic ma-i-Zah i ri —368 
Umdat-ul-Akhbar (press), 358 
(n), 364 (n), 412 (See 

i/m mat —396 
Ummed Bakhsh—U 
Unitarianism of Dara —U4-122 
U pan i shads —8, 22, 147-154, 

161, 163, 354, 415 

Upanikhai —151 
See Upanishad 
Uruz —118, 130 
Uzbeg —29 


Valih Daghistanl—m , 370 
Vallabh Chauhan—(A 



Vamsa-Bhash ar—25b (n), 311 
(n), 417 

Vashishta —159, 160, 163 
Veda— 337, 394 
Veda, Atharva—See Atharva 
Vedanta— 110, 121, 333, 384 
Vikramjit, Rajah —102 
Viram gaon—299 
Virblnodc-280 (n), 282 (n)) 417 

Viswanath Nyayapanchanan — 
384 (n) 

Vithal Rai Tikayat—m , 

386 (n) 


Wahab, Abdul —See Abdul 



Wahidiyya —126 

Waisgaran— 46, 47, 65 

Wajud— 115 

Wafuddin Gufrati, Shaikh — 
214 (n) 

Wall, Baba-4 6, 47 

—18 (n), 25 (n), 26 (u), 
37, 38 (n), 40 (n), 41 (n), 
44 fn), 58, 65 (n), 78 (n), 
79 (n), 82 (n), 93 (n), 94, 
96, 97, 166 (n), 167 (n), 

168 fn), 175, 182 (n), 184, 
192 (n), 195, 202 (n), 203 
(n), 386, 404, 405, 406, 
■409, 414 

War of Succession— 162, 163, 
186, 197, 198, 240, 387, 407, 
412, 414, 416, 417 

Wazir Khan , Hakim —17 
Wilson —334 (n) 

Will, Free— 344, 345 
Wolsey , Cardinal —110 


Xerxes —76 


Yazid —368 

Yoga (philosophy)—110, 384 
Yogi (Hindu)—108, 113, 389 
Yogin —389 

Yusuf Hussain— 156, 416 

(See L’Inde Mystique etc.) 


Zafar Jang , Said Khan Baha~ 
dur —33 

Zainabadi Mahal —16 
Zainuddin, Sultan —202 
Zaman , Muhammad —412 
Zamin Dawar—28, 59, 60 
Zeppclinz Count —55 
Zubdat-un-nisa —330 
Zuifiqar Khan —89, 214, 273 


P. 21 line 4 for Heir Designate read Heir-Apparent. 

» 21 lines 19-22 omit “Dara visited . . . July, 1657’* 

,, 63 line 20 for 18th ghari read 8th ghari 

n 96 ,, 1 for Faqir Khan read Fakhir Khan wherever it 


,, 104 „ 9 add after ‘was* ‘at first 

,, 106 ,, 3 read Oadri in place of Qadari 

,, 114 ,, 11 for ‘unification* read ‘One-ness’ 

,, 121 lines 16-17 for ‘in the palmy days of Harun-al-Rashid 
read ‘in 309 A.H. during the reign of 
Caliph Muqtadir’ 

m 122 line 4 for ‘Perfect One* read ‘perfect one 1 
,, 127 ,, 19 add ‘like two locks of hair* after ‘wears* 

>, 403 footnote line 6 read ‘greater’ for greated’ 

„ 413 line 5 for Akham read Ahkam 


1. Sher Shah (Second edition in preparation) ; first 

edition 1921, Rs. 4. 

2. History of the fats, Vol. I with a Foreword by 

Sir Jadimath Sarkar. 

3. Dara Shukoh, Vol. I (Biography, based on 

original sources), thesis approved for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Calcutta 
University, with a Foreword by Dr. R. C. 

4. Dara Shukoh, Vol. II. (Political and literary 

correspondence of Dara Shukoh, Extracts 
from Dara’s works), original Persian text with 
English translations. To he shortly out, Rs. 5. 


A critical study based on original sources . 

464 pp. One full page illustration. Rs. 4. 

“Sher Shah is one of the world’s worthies to whom. 
History has not done justice . . . Hitherto the world has 
been content to take Sher Shah as portrayed in the few 
translated extracts given in Elliot and Dowson or Ferishta 
. . . My task has been to seek all the sources on Sher Shah 
—primary, secondary and third-rate, without any omission, 
to study them in the original Persian texts, and then to 
reconstruct the life-story of Sher Shah on a fresh original 
and . . . exhaustive basis. 

The result of this original study of Sher Shah has been 
to place his character in a new light and fix his fame on 
the basis of concrete and well-ascertained facts, and to 
correct the innumerable mistakes about his life and times 
into which my predecessors w r riting general histories had 

fallen ... I have given the reasons and evidence for any 
conclusions. Professor Jadimath Sarkar placed at my 
disposal all the materials collected in his splendid library, 
rich in rare Persian MSS., books of reference, learned 
journals maps and gazetteers. He has read this book in 
MS. and in proof. (Author’s Foreword.) 

In addition to nine chapters on the history of Shcr Shah 
from his birth to death, two chapters are devoted to an 
exhaustive study of his institutions and comparison of them 
with Akbar’s (6() pages) and his character (20 pages). There 
is also a full and critical bibliography (22 pages) on the 
Persian sources and European writers on the subject. 


It'. Foster, C.l.E .—“I am favourably impressed by the 
volume. The author has evidently caught . . . the spirit of 
patient research and scrupulous impartiality, and I congra¬ 
tulate Prof. Jadunath Sarkar on having found so apt and 
able a disciple.” 

H'. Crookc, l.C.S .—“You have succeeded in satisfactorily 
clearing up what has hitherto been one of the most obscure 
periods in the history of India, and the work does great 
credit to your learning and industry.” 

I editor. Modern Review .—“It is an excellent work . . . 
Mr. flamingo has given us a correct idea of everything which 
Akbar . . . owed to the constructive statesmanship and the 
administrative genius of Slier Shah ... In this his first 
work, the author has displayed such grasp of his subject, 
such a severely critical historical spirit, and such sense of 
proportion,—in one word, given evidence of such maturity 
of powers, that we may well hope that what he may 
accomplish in his maturer \ears will be hailed as the work 
of a master-builder.” 

Calcutta Review .—“At last the forgotten Afghan ruler 
has come into his own, and this is entirely due to 
Mr. Qanungo’s efforts . . . The uniformly high standard 
of Mr. Qanungo’s work. He has read and studied with care 
the various Persian authorities dealing with the period.” 

H. Beveridge .—“This is a careful and well-written life 
of the famous Afghan ruler of India in the 16th century. 
It is a cheerful evidence that the spirit of research is abroad 
among the Bengalees and that the East is no longer to be 
put oil with rhetoric and exaggeration . . . 

Prof. Kalika-ranjan has executed his task with great 
labour and thoroughness, and he has told us much that is 
not generally known.” ( J.R.A.S .) 


Vol. I. down to 1782 

With a foreword by JADUNATH Sarkar. 

Pp. 380-f 8, with one illustration, Rs. 3-8. 

“The Jats are one of the most important races 
amon.e: the Indian population to-day, as during the 
Muslim period..,. A critical study of the past 
history of this race, on the basis of all the available 
materials... is presented in this book... The informa¬ 
tion which the author has gathered by a personal 
quest among the Jats for many years... is concen¬ 
trated in this book and gives it a unique value. 
Here is a first-rate contribution to the critical study 
of the Fall of the Mughal Empire.” (Opinion of 
Sir Jadunath Sarkar.) 

The Jat origins, their struggle with Aurangzib, 
the rise of Suraj Mai, the battle of Panipat and after, 
Jawahir Singh’s meteoric career, Jat influence on the 
Delhi empire and Rajput politics—are fully treated 
here in separate chapters. 

The sources used are in English, French, Persian, 
Marathi and Hindi, many of them being unique 
manuscripts. A long critical bibliography at the end. 

Sir Edward A. Gait. —“Your work is a very valuable 
one, and you have followed my old friend, Professor Sarkar’s 
method of seeking for tlie truth and nothing but the truth. 
It is only work done in this spirit that will live.” 

Jarl Charpentfer ( ‘An interesting book 
new material and well,furnished with contempqj^^ 
hitherto overlooked . / . The new work of 
weighty one, and we are eagerly expecting the continuation 
of his researches . . . It is a new contribution— and an 
important one—towards a history of India's political chaos 
during the 18th century . . . Qanungo has already made 
himself well-known to scholars by his able work on Sher 
Shah/' (J.foA.S.f. 

Bombay Chronicle (16-8-26) .—Professor Kalikaranjan 

Qanungo is an able disciple of the great Mughal historian, 
Jadunath Sarkar, and he following his master's footsteps* in 
his accurate and important historical studies in the neglected 
portions of Indian history. In this* History of the fats he 
maintains the high reputation he first acquired in his work 
on "Sher Shall" the greatest Pathan ruler of India. He 
shows great industry in using all available evidence to* 
compose his present volume. Not only this, but he shows 
true devotion to his subject in having lived among the Jats 
and studied their character, temper, and traditions . . , 
Their history is worth studying and one looks forward to 
the second volume of Professor Kalikaranjan who has 
become the Todd or the Dufl of the Jats. 

Tba lHfckratta.—“We heartily congratulate , prof. 
Qanungo on his eminent success in bringing out the present 
volume by utilising almost all known sources. The students 
of Maratha history particularly will be glad to note that it 
has thrown a flood of light on the Mahratta activities before 
and atfer the disaster of Panipat. Prof. Qanungo ha# dealt 
with the subject very beautifully.